On the 8th April, the Government passed the JobKeeper Legislation. We are now awaiting Royal Assent to the Legislation. We expect the Legislative Rules will then be released – we hope for early next week.

In the meantime, we provide the following updates arising from the passing of the legislation:

The Process

The ATO is creating a JobKeeper website. The current website registration link is not the application, but merely a record of your email address so that you will receive updates from the Tax Office. We expect the registrations will be live soon as the deadline for registrations to receive the first round of payments is 26 April.

We recommend you commence reviewing and preparing your records as follows:

  • Single Touch Payroll (STP): If you are currently paying wages but are not yet set up for Single Touch Payroll, now would be a good time to become STP compliant. We expect this will speed up the process of receiving the JobKeeper payments.
  • Meeting the Turnover Test Requirements: Ensure all of your accounting records are up to date. Please also give some thought (and document) your expected turnover over for the ensuing 6 month period. This data gathering will help us to determine if you will be eligible for the JobKeeper payments.
  • Employees: Ensure all of your employee’s details are up to date.
  • Record Keeping/Accounting Software: Email us your current accounting file, or if live, confirm that such is up to date at 31 March so that we can review your position.

Additionally, we comment on the following issues:

  • Fair Work: There have been temporary amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 whichapply to eligible employees receiving JobKeeper payments. These include options to reduce hours worked.
  • Artificial Arrangements: The ATO have made it clear that the purpose of the JobKeeper payments is to assist businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19 with paying and retaining their staff. Artificial arrangements and backdating records and registrations solely to benefit from the JobKeeper scheme will be flagged and penalties will apply.

HQB is endeavoring to keep you up to date as COVID-19 issues evolve, as we expect that it will continue to change rapidly. Whilst time is short to the deadline date, our commitment is to assist all our business clients impacted by COVID-19 to determine if JobKeeper is applicable.

– Ian Hogbin & Annie Wills

Posted 09.04.2020

This article is compiled as a helpful guide for your private information and is subject to copyright. We suggest that you do not act solely on the basis of material contained in this article because items are of general nature only and may be liable to misinterpretation in particular circumstances. We recommend that our advice be sought before acting on any of these crucial areas.

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