The Treasurer’s initial JobKeeper rules specified that an entity that has qualified for the JobKeeper scheme must report their current and projected turnover to the ATO commissioner within seven days of the end of a calendar month, if the entity is entitled to a payment for a fortnight that ends in that month.
However, the ATO has now confirmed it has extended this deadline by seven days, giving businesses until the 14 of each month to lodge their declaration.
"A monthly business declaration must be made by the 14th day of each month, starting in June, to receive reimbursements for payments made in the previous month," the ATO's updated guidance reads.
Speaking to MyBusiness sister title Accountants Daily, the Institute of Public Accountants’ Tony Greco cautioned that the later the monthly declaration is lodged, the later a business will be reimbursed for their JobKeeper payments.
Mr Greco explained that slowing the process will “have an impact on the reimbursement”, but he stressed the importance of giving practitioners a bit more wiggle room to ascertain whether the turnover figures are reasonable.
“By pushing it to 14 days, it gives the practitioner a bit more time to assess the figures because there needs to be some effort into putting the forecast figures for the month ahead, and even for large organisations, that can be quite problematic in this environment,” Mr Greco said.
Earlier this month, Deborah Jenkins, Deputy Commissioner from the ATO, confirmed in a webcast hosted by MyBusiness that the purpose of the monthly declarations is not to ascertain a business’s eligibility.
“It is statistical information; we need to understand how this JobKeeper scheme is playing out and whether it is meeting what it was set out to do,” Ms Jenkins explained.
She reiterated that while businesses do have to predict their turnover each month, this no longer affects their eligibility.
“Each month, they do need to make sure that they are paying them the relevant $1,500 per fortnight and through that period, but things change over time,” Ms Jenkins said.
“You may find that some employees depart the country (if they’re able to) or they may not wish to remain on your books.
“That’s the purpose of the monthly declaration each month. It’s to make sure your business still exists and to check who your employees are that are employed for that period of time.”