The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has now issued preliminary guidance on the extension of the JobKeeper stimulus measure to 28 March 2021, following its passage through Parliament on 1 September.
According to the guidance, businesses already enrolled in JobKeeper will not need to re-enrol nor will they need to reassess employee eligibility or ask employees to agree to be nominated, but they will need to determine if they satisfy the actual fall in turnover test for the two extension periods — 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, and 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.
The ATO noted it will provide more information soon as to how to undertake this calculation.
“For many businesses registered for GST, this calculation will match the ‘total sales’ reported at G1 on your BAS minus GST payable (1A), where applicable,” it said.
“You can provide additional turnover information to demonstrate that you satisfy the actual fall in turnover test for the September quarter from the start of October onwards. You must provide it before you complete your November monthly declaration.”
Given that the JobKeeper extension will be a two-tiered system, employers will also need to work out if the Tier 1 or Tier 2 rate applies to each of their eligible employees.
According to the ATO, from 28 September, employees who worked for 80 hours or more in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020 will receive $1,200 per fortnight, while all other employees will receive $750.
Once they have completed this step, employers will need to notify the commissioner and their eligible employees what payment rate applies to them.
As of 4 January, these payment rates will decrease further to $1,000 and $650 per fortnight.
The ATO’s preliminary guidance can be found here.