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The JobKeeper Payment: An Update

Since the time of writing our last blog on this payment (if you haven’t already read it, you can read it here: https://www.insightcompany.com.au/post/the-jobkeeper-payment-helping-to-keep-businesses-in-business), there has been a clarification made around the 30% (or 50%) reduction in income test, and how this could be proven.


To establish that a business has been on the wrong end of the relevant reduction in income, the majority of businesses are expected to establish that their turnover has fallen in the relevant month or quarter (based on activity statements reporting periods) relative to their turnover a year earlier.


Where a business was not in operation a year earlier, or the business’s turnover from a year earlier is not representative of their “usual” or average turnover (for example, there has been a significant acquisition or the business was newly established and therefore had very low or highly variable income in the year earlier period), the Commissioner of Taxation will be given discretionary powers to consider additional information that the business can provide to establish that the business has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Commissioner will also be given discretionary powers to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances, such as a mandated government closure of the whole or part of the business, as has happened to gyms, fitness centres and restaurants and cafes.


The updated information has a cut-away comment in it that allows a potential expanding of the above tests too – the comment is:


“There will be some tolerance where employers, in good faith, estimate a greater than 30 (or 50) per cent fall in turnover but actually experience a slightly smaller fall.”


The key part of this comment is the reference to an estimated fall in turnover – the obvious implication is that one of the Commissioner’s discretionary tests will allow a forecasted drop in turnover to be considered rather than an actual drop which the main discussion has been around so far.


No matter what the test (or tests) that will be required to be passed to receive the payment on behalf of your employees, if you are intending to make a JobKeeper payment claim you should have registered your interest by now at:


https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/?=redirected_JobKeeper


If you haven’t yet completed this step, please do so as soon as possible.


As always, this is an evolving situation and further updates will be coming through – please check back regularly for more information.







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