The nature in which the Coronavirus has impacted Australian business has made the JobKeeper payment, a key component of the Federal Government’s business
support package, highly desirable to Australian business owners. The payment provides a $1,500.00 per fortnight, per employee wage subsidy to employers
for a period of 6 months. Although on the surface the JobKeeper payment seems relatively simple to access, we discuss some challenges that businesses
have faced in accessing the payment and how recent changes to the rules surrounding the payment may provide a remedy for those currently unable to
access the JobKeeper payment.
The ATO has recently implemented section 20(4) of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Alternative Decline in Turnover Test
Rules 2020 which introduces seven alternative tests which businesses can use to apply for the JobKeeper subsidy.
Before looking at the alternative tests, first, let’s run through a quick summary of the current test. In order to be eligible for the JobKeeper subsidy
a business must, among other things, show to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) that business turnover has fallen by 30% as compared to the same
period in 2019. For a variety of reasons, numerous businesses have failed to show that turnover has fallen by 30%. Nevertheless, if your business does
not satisfy this test, you may now be able to apply for the JobKeeper subsidy under an alternative test.
The ATO has introduced seven alternative tests which cater for a broad range of businesses.Your business may be applicable to one of the tests if:
Where applying for the JobKeeper payment under an alternative test, you must ensure that you understand the following:
The introduction of the alternative tests has significantly increased the scope and availability of the JobKeeper payment to Australian businesses. We
urge businesses that did not meet the original turnover reduction test when applying for the JobKeeper payment to reconsider their options by matching
their business to one or more of the alternative tests.
ClarkeKann appreciates that determining whether your business is eligible for the JobKeeper subsidy under the alternative tests can be tricky, particularly
when it comes to interpreting and applying termssuch as ‘test periods’ and ‘GST turnover calculations.’ It is important that you are diligent in your
application for the JobKeeper payment, especially given that businesses that don’t comply with their obligations under the scheme are potentially liable
for a wide range of administrative and criminal sanctions.
ClarkeKann is happy to assist if you are having difficulty with any aspect of the JobKeeper payment. Please contact John Gray on 02 8235 1205 for further information.
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