The ATO has clarified that if an employer decides to participate in the JobKeeper payment scheme, they must nominate all of their eligible employees (“all-in“) and cannot choose to nominate only some of their employees
As mentioned before, follow us on Instagram or Facebook or check our website as we are issuing updates almost on a daily basis. Things are changing daily and its difficult, even for us, to keep up but we are doing our best to keep you updated.
There are still some areas of the JobKeeper which ATO clarification is required however we feel that we are in a good position to assess, enrol and apply on behalf of employers and employees.
We have put together a JobKeeper Form that outlines the JobKeeper Payment, the action list, our fees, the conditions that need to be met and the information we require to help you through the JobKeeper process.
If you need assistance to claim the maximum amount of the JobKeeper within the deadline dates, please complete the attached JobKeeper Form and Employee Eligibility Sheet (if applicable) and email it back to us. We can then send you an engagement letter for you to sign and we can add the work into our schedule.
Please note that our pricing enclosed is based on a business with employees. If you do not have employees, we can apply a 30% discount.
Seeing that all our clients are wanting their work done ASAP to receive the JobKeeper payments, we are doing our work on a first paid first done basis. We’ll send you our invoice for your upfront payment to us, and as soon as we receive your payment (plus your payment for any outstanding invoices), we’ll put you in our queue to get your work completed. With our ongoing work, we will invoice you at the beginning of each month, and after you pay our invoice we will lodge your Monthly JobKeeper Declaration Report with the ATO.
We have limited time to enrol you for JobKeeper and then making your first Application for JobKeeper Payments (starting on 4 May 2020).
Please let us know ASAP if you would like us to immediately start the above work for you, and we will send you the engagement letter.
As you are probably aware, the JobKeeper legislation was passed through Parliament, however, we have been waiting for the ATO to provide further guidance. Last Friday, the ATO provided more clarification and the enrollment process commences tomorrow, Monday 20 April.
The JobKeeper involves the Government providing $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months (April to September 2020) to eligible employers. Businesses may be eligible for the JobKeeper if they have had, or forecast to have, at least a 30% fall in turnover (i.e. income). The JobKeeper payment is made by the ATO to the business through the Single Touch Payroll System however the business must pay a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight to each eligible employee before receiving the JobKeeper as a reimbursement from the ATO.
The JobKeeper may also be paid to active workers in a business that are not paid wages such as sole traders, a partner in a partnership, a director or shareholder in a company or a trust beneficiary.
Given the extensive legislation, explanatory memorandums, fact sheets and ATO updates, we have spent quite a bit of time understanding the JobKeeper and as such we have updated our website with all the information you need to understand how it works:
Blog Contribution provided by Simona Hughes – CFO from Financial Utilities
A lot has happened in the past week and a half since we sent our first COVID-19 update. We are navigating these challenging times day to day and trying to keep up with all the changes.
The Government finally legislated the 2nd stimulus relief options on Monday and we have been carefully working through who they affect and how our clients can access them. We understand there will be a 3rd stimulus package announced soon and we will let you know once we know more.
We have created a new page on our website and have added all the COVID-19 business resources in there. We have also developed some Excel templates that you are free to download and use (PAYG cashflow boost calculator and Termination/redundancy calculator). Below is a summary of the information/advice we have put together that will hopefully answer some of your questions and concerns:
We are working through specific strategies for each of our clients so that we are in a position to lodge the March 2020 BASs on time and to maximise each business’ relief entitlements. We will reach out to each of you individually in the coming weeks.
Keep your books up to date
Now more than ever, its important to keep your business tax and BAS lodgements up to date because any relief and Centrelink payments will be conditional upon your tax lodgements being done on time.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns as we are here to help our clients through this challenging period. We want to help businesses ‘hold-tight’, survive and come out the other end in a strong position to re-build. We are certainly very busy fielding client queries and educating ourselves on the new measures so if you can’t get through to us on our mobiles, please send a text or an email and we will endeavour to come back to you.
We are all working from home and many of us with our children at home. We are still taking phone calls and hosting virtual meetings, albeit with more noise in the background. We use Zoom software to communicate virtually (voice or video option plus screen share) and we can jump on a Zoom session with you at any time so please reach out if you need our support or if you just want to have a chat and vent.
Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin
We are pushing out a lot of content and updates on our social pages so please like our pages to stay in the loop as its easier for us to post on the socials that to individually email each client. Please also share with your friends and contacts that may need help too.
The Australian Government is providing a range of measures to address the global health crisis related to Coronavirus. Please visit The Treasury’s webpage for more information on the economic response to Coronavirus announced on 12 March 2020 and 22 March 2020, including fact sheets and an overview of the Government’s targeted economic response packages.
On 12 March 2020, the Government announced it will provide an Economic Support payment of $750 to approximately 6.6 million existing payment recipients and concession card holders that are eligible as at 12 March 2020. On 22 March 2020, the eligibility criteria for this payment was extended to new payment recipients who are eligible for their payment or card between 12 March 2020 to 13 April 2020 (inclusive). This means as long as someone has lodged a claim for an eligible payment and is eligible for that payment by 13 April, they will automatically receive this economic support payment via Services Australia. Payments will be made from 31 March onwards.
Eligibility for the first Economic Support payment is for the following payment recipients and concession cardholders, given they reside in Australia and are eligible as at 13 April 2020:
Disability Support Pension
Widow B Pension
ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)
Newstart Allowance (JobSeeker Payment from 20 March)
Family Tax Benefit, including Double Orphan Pension
Pensioner Concession Card holders
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders
Veteran Service Pension; Veteran Income Support Supplement; Veteran Compensation payments, including lump sum payments; War Widow(er) Pension; and Veteran Payment
DVA PCC holders; DVA Education Scheme recipients; Disability Pensioners at the temporary special rate; DVA Income support pensioners at $0 rate
Veteran Gold Card holders
Farm Household Allowance.
Second Economic Support Payment
The Government announced on 22 March 2020, it would provide a second Economic Support payment of $750 to approximately 5 million recipients under the same eligibility criteria as the first Economic Support payment, provided the recipient does not receive the Coronavirus Supplement with their payment. If recipients are eligible at 10 July 2020, this second Economic Support payment will be automatically paid via Services Australia. Payments will be made from 13 July onwards.
On 22 March 2020, the Government announced it will provide a temporary payment of $550 per fortnight, known as the Coronavirus Supplement, to new and existing eligible income support recipients. On 24 March 2020, the Government extended the eligibility criteria for this payment to Australians receiving student support payments including Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY. Eligible recipients will receive the Coronavirus Supplement from 27 April 2020 along with their usual payment.
Eligibility for the Coronavirus Supplement is for people receiving the following payments:
JobSeeker Payment (formerly known as Newstart Allowance; also includes Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Wife Pension)
ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)
Farm Household Allowance
Expanding Eligibility and Qualification for Payments
The Government also temporarily put in place expanded eligibility and qualification criteria from 25 March 2020.
Eligibility for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance for jobseekers have been expanded to assist:
sole traders and self-employed people. They will be able to meet mutual obligation requirements by continuing to operate their businesses.
permanent employees who have been stood down or lost their job.
people caring for someone infected or in isolation as a result of contact with Coronavirus.
The following eligibility criteria have also been temporarily waived, for certain payments:
the assets test
the Ordinary Waiting Period (already waived until 12 June 2020)
the Liquid Assets Waiting Period
the Seasonal Workers Preclusion Period
the Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period.
Also from 25 March 2020, access to payments will become easier with a temporary removal of the requirement for an Employment Separation Certificate, proof of rental arrangements and verification of relationship status.
Changes are also being made to crisis payment to ensure people who are in financial hardship and need to self-isolate receive the support they need.
Isolation Related Temporary Exemptions From Mutual Obligations
As announced the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, on 25 March 2020, due to the high demand on government services such as the MyGov website, mutual obligation requirements will be lifted until 31 March 2020. If congestion continues, the Government will consider extending these arrangements. This means that during this period no compliance action will be taken for job seekers who do not report their attendance at appointments or activities, which means no one’s payments will be suspended.
The Government also announced a number of changes to mutual obligation requirements to reduce or eliminate the need for face-to-face contact, when requested by a job seeker or job service provider. The changes include:
Job seekers will have the option to request that face to face meetings with their job service providers take place over the phone or via an online channel such as Skype;
Job seekers will be able to complete activities such as online training, creating job plans, writing a CV and preparing job applications online;
Job Plans will be adjusted to a default requirement of four job searches a month (or fewer, at provider discretion) to reflect the softening labour market conditions.
Work for the Dole and other activities delivered in group settings that cannot be delivered online will be suspended until further notice;
Jobs Fairs and other large events will be postponed; and
Job service providers will be required to perform new risk assessments for a range of activities like Youth Jobs PaTH internships.
Current income support recipients who cannot meet mutual obligation requirements due to isolation should call Services Australia and can be granted a Major Personal Crisis exemption, without having to provide evidence such as a medical certificate.
Students receiving Youth Allowance (student) or other study related payments who are in Australia but unable to attend studies due to Coronavirus would be taken to have a reasonable excuse for not meeting study activity requirements for their payments. Individuals in this situation must contact Services Australia to advise them of the circumstances.
Simplifying Income Reporting
The Government is also creating flexibility associated with the commencement of the Simplifying Income Reporting Act, which was due to start on 1 July 2020. This will allow for the commencement date to be set taking into account the effect of the Coronavirus on income support recipients and Services Australia resources.
Information for DSS Grant Recipients – Coronavirus
Services Australia will automatically pay the Coronavirus Supplement to eligible recipients each fortnight from 27 April 2020.
Is the Coronavirus Supplement taxable?
Will the Coronavirus Supplement be subject to income management or credited to Cashless Debit Cards?
Yes. The supplement will be income managed or credited to Cashless Debit Cards for current participants in the same proportions as a person’s payment.
Do people have to wait until 27 April 2020 to apply for a payment?
People can apply for a payment as soon as they need it.
The expanded eligibility and qualification criteria came into effect from 25 March 2020.
If a person qualifies for a payment before 25 March 2020 and has to serve a waiting period (other than the Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period), they will receive a payment back to the date of their claim once the waiting period is suspended.
Recent migrants will be able to have their Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period waived from 25 March 2020.
Do I need to contact Services Australia to receive either the first or the second Economic Support Payment?
No. The payment will be paid automatically to eligible recipients. Where Services Australia does not have bank details, they will contact eligible recipients to get these details.
Will I receive multiple Economic Support payments and if so, when?
Services Australia and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will automatically deliver payments to eligible recipients with the first payment from 31 March 2020 and the second payment from 13 July 2020. A person can be eligible to receive both the first and second support payment, however, they will only receive $750 once in each round of payments, even if they receive more than one qualifying payment or card.
My claim for a qualifying payment or card has not yet been processed. Will I still get the Economic Support Payment?
If you have lodged a claim for one of the qualifying payments or concession cards between 12 March 2020 and 13 April 2020, and the claim is subsequently granted from a date on or before that period, you will receive the payment.
Will I get paid the Economic Support payment if I’m a part rate Age Pensioner?
Yes. You will receive the full $750.
Will I get paid the Economic Support payment if I receive Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum?
Yes. Recipients who claim Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum after the end of the financial year will be eligible for the payment if they are eligible for Family Tax Benefit in the 2019-20 and/or 2020-21 financial year and will receive the Economic Support payment as part of their lump sum payment.