While many businesses have experienced improved trading conditions since the pandemic began, others have depended upon the Australian Government’s JobKeeper subsidy as a much needed lifeline of financial support.
If your business has experienced a fall in turnover for the December 2020 quarter compared to calendar 2019, you should now consider your eligibility for the final phase of the JobKeeper Extension (also known as JobKeeper Extension 2), which provides JobKeeper support from 4 January 2021 until 28 March 2021.
At this stage, the Australian Government has not announced any further JobKeeper support after 28 March 2021.
What is the financial benefit of this final phase of JobKeeper?
The final phase of the JobKeeper Extension 2 provides a Tier 1 and Tier 2 rate subsidy depending upon hours worked by eligible employees. The Tier 1 rate is $1,000 per fortnight, while the Tier 2 rate is $650 per fortnight per eligible employee depending on hours worked (see below). The final phase of JobKeeper translates to a maximum payment per employee of $6,000 for Tier 1 employees and $3,900 for Tier 2 employees paid over the final three month period (or six fortnights).
What are the eligibility requirements?
- Decline in turnover test. To be eligible for the final phase of the JobKeeper Extension, there must be a required fall in actual GST turnover (typically 30%) for the December 2020 quarter compared against an eligible 2019 period. Under the Basic Test the relevant comparison period is the December 2019 quarter, however it is important to note that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) allows for some flexibility in how the required GST turnover decline is demonstrated in the form of various Alternative Tests. Speak to your Bentleys advisor if you need assistance with this. As noted above, for most businesses, the required decline in turnover will generally be at least 30% (unless the aggregated turnover of the business is more than $1 billion, in which case a 50% decline in turnover is required). For ACNC registered charities (excluding universities and schools) the required GST turnover decline is 15%.
- Tier 1 rate ($1,000 per fortnight). The Tier 1 Rate is paid where an eligible employee has worked for 80 hours or more in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020. For eligible business participants, the participant must have been actively engaged in the business for 80 hours or more in February.
- Tier 2 rate ($650 per fortnight). The Tier 2 Rate is paid where eligible employees and eligible business participants do not meet the required work hours under the Tier 1 rate.
What are the remaining JobKeeper fortnights?
The table below summarises the remaining JobKeeper fortnights (FN), which are numbered from FN21 to FN26 for payroll reporting purposes.
|Fortnight (FN)||PERIOD RELATING TO EACH JOBKEEPER FORTNIGHT||EMPLOYEES ARE PAID ON OR BEFORE||TIER 1||TIER 2
|21||4 January – 17 January 2021||31 January 2021||$1,000||$650
|22||18 January – 31 January 2021||31 January 2021||$1,000||$650
|23||1 February – 14 February 2021||14 February 2021||$1,000||$650
|24||15 February – 28 February 2021||28 February 2021||$1,000||$650
|25||1 March – 14 March 2021||14 March 2021||$1,000||$650
|26||15 March – 28 March 2021||28 March 2021||$1,000||$650
The key dates can be summarised as follows:
- From 4 January 2021: You must show that actual GST turnover has declined by the required percentage (30%, 50% or 15%) in the quarter ended 31 December 2020 compared to the quarter ended 31 December 2019. (Note in limited circumstances you may be able to test the December 2020 decline in turnover against another period under the Alternative Tests.)
- 28 January 2021: Business monthly declarations are due for the December 2020 fortnights (FN 18,19 & 20) under JobKeeper Extension 1.
- 31 January 2021: New entities registering for JobKeeper will need to firstly enrol for JobKeeper and secondly submit their ‘Check decline in turnover’ form to the ATO online. Failure to do so by 31 January will mean you will not be eligible to participate in JobKeeper Extension 2.
- 31 January 2021: All eligible employees must have been physically paid gross wages for FN 21 & FN 22 equivalent to at least the Tier 1 ($1,000) or Tier 2 ($650) payment depending on if they meet the 80-hour work test or not (i.e. this is last date for employers to meet the wage condition for FN 21 & 22).
- 31 January 2021: We highly recommend all eligible employers (both new and existing) submit their ‘Check decline in turnover’ to the ATO by this date, as well as ensure all their eligible employees are appropriately enrolled in JobKeeper on Single Touch Payroll (STP) via their payroll software.
We have seen many entities that have not qualified under the Basic Test, but have been able to qualify under one of the Alternative Tests. In these situations, we therefore highly recommend you contact your Bentleys Advisor for further information and assistance before 31 January 2021.
Further information in relation to key JobKeeper dates can be found on the ATO website here (external link): https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/JobKeeper-key-dates/
We, at Bentleys, are doing everything we can to help businesses come out of this challenging time in good shape.
We will continue to update our COVID-19 resource hub with important developments, so please return soon.
Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and should not be relied on as advice. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs and seek professional advice before making any decisions based on this information.