As we approach the end date of the initial JobKeeper period and move into the extension, the Australian Taxation Office has advised of key dates employers must take heed of if they qualify for the next stage of the wage subsidy.
“There are some key dates to keep in mind, and simple steps employers can take now, so they are ready for the changes, but please remember that not everything needs to be done from next week,” said Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran.
“From Monday, 28 September, employers will need to pay their eligible employees a different rate of JobKeeper, with the rate dependent on the number of hours they work. These rates will change again from Monday, 4 January.”
Mr O’Halloran reiterated the importance for employers to let their eligible employees know what rate of JobKeeper payment they will receive.
“Although you do not need to re-enrol in JobKeeper, you do need to notify us of your eligible employees and what rate you are paying them as part of your normal payday reporting in October. This can easily be done through Single Touch Payroll,” he said.
“Employers will also need to nominate any new employees if they are applying for a JobKeeper payment for them for the first time.”
For the extension period commencing 28 September 2020, employers will need to show that their actual GST turnover has declined in the September 2020 quarter relative to a comparable period. This needs to be done before 31 October 2020.
Mr O’Halloran noted that alternative tests for determining actual decline in turnover may be available in some circumstances and encouraged businesses to seek guidance if necessary.
Other key dates include:
- Now: employers to notify employees about the JobKeeper payment they can expect to receive.
- 28 September 2020: employers to start paying eligible employees tier 1 and tier 2 JobKeeper rates based on their hours worked.
- From 28 September: if using Single Touch Payroll to notify the ATO of eligible employees, employers must provide each eligible employee’s tier as part of their normal payday reporting. Those enrolling for the JobKeeper payment for the first time can do so from 28 September.
- Between 1– 14 October 2020: employers to complete their October JobKeeper monthly business declarations to receive reimbursement for the September fortnights.
- Between 1–31 October 2020: employers to prepare and submit their business’s actual decline in turnover to the ATO.
- Before 31 October 2020: employers to ensure they meet the wage condition for all eligible employees included in the JobKeeper scheme for the JobKeeper fortnights starting 28 September 2020 and 12 October 2020.
- From 1 November 2020: employers to complete their monthly business declaration and confirm what payment tier they are claiming for each employee.
“We are here to support employers and we know how vital the JobKeeper payment is to the community,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“I encourage employers seeking advice on JobKeeper to contact their tax agent or call us on our dedicated help line, 13 10 20.”