JobKeeper in 2021: ATO reveals what businesses need to know.

The Australian Taxation Office has addressed what businesses need to know and understand to stay on top of the immediate changes to the JobKeeper scheme that will apply as of 4 January 2021.

Just to recap, earlier in 2020 the JobKeeper scheme was announced as extended from 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021.

There are two separate extension periods. For each extension period, an additional actual decline in turnover test applies and the rate of the JobKeeper payment is different.

The extension periods are:

Now, let’s hear about some of the changes to the payments within these extensions…

From 4 January 2021, the JobKeeper tier 1 payment reduces from $1,200 to $1,000 per fortnight, per eligible employee or eligible business participant, while for tier 2, the JobKeeper rate will reduce from $750 to $650 per fortnight.

As for new businesses coming in for JobKeeper, Mr O’Halloran said they’ll need to enrol and submit their decline in turnover eligibility form online by 31 January 2021.

“So if you’re a new entrant, you certainly would have to do that. But importantly for fortnight 20, which is from the 21 December to the 3 January, we’re allowing employers until Monday, the 4 January 2021, to meet the wage condition, that is to have paid their employees,” Mr O’Halloran said.

In terms of the monthly declaration that businesses need to do, Mr O’Halloran said the ATO has extended that period by two weeks, meaning businesses have until the 28 January to submit their monthly declaration.

He said it’s important to note that the monthly declaration triggers the payment.

“For fortnights 21 and 22, which is the period of 4 January and 18 January, in other words the January fortnights, we’re allowing employers until 31 January 2021 to pay their employees,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“We’ve deferred both the wage condition requirement of when employers need to have paid their employees before making the claim and also deferred the monthly declaration to the end of the month.

 “It’s trying to give some allowance to that time of the year, but… the quicker people claim, the quicker we can in fact reimburse them or give it to them.

“So, we’ve tried to assist that way over that period, but of course, the earlier people do these things, in February the money will in fact be processed and made available back to people.” Mr O’Halloran summarised.

If you have further queries about JobKeeper Payments and your COVID-19 entitlements, please chat directly with your Highview Accountant – we’re here to help.

Source: MyBusiness Online