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‘Critical week’: Aussies warned of looming JobKeeper deadline

Jessica Yun
·2-min read
(Source: Getty)
(Source: Getty)

Employers hoping to claim JobKeeper for the first time have until 31 October to do so, a major accounting association has warned.

There’s an entire checklist of things to do for new entrants to the wage subsidy scheme that has to be done by the last day of October, said the Institute of Public Accountants’ Tony Greco.

“For those new entrants applying for the first time, this week is a critical week; they have to enrol, meet the decline in turnover test, and meet the wage condition by 31 October,” Greco told Accountants Daily.

Key dates to remember

The JobKeeper extension came into effect on 28 September, with the payment split into two tiers from that date.

To qualify for Jobkeeper ‘2.0’, all businesses and not-for-profits will have to reassess their eligibility for the scheme from 28 September.

And before 31 October, they’ll also have to prove their GST turnover fell in the September quarter.

Turnover has to have declined by:

  • 50 per cent for businesses with turnover of more than $1 billion;

  • 30 per cent for businesses with turnover of less than $1 billion; or

  • 15 per cent for charities or not-for-profits.

But businesses should be extra cautious about the actual decline in turnover test, warned Greco.

“We know there's no wiggle room this time. JobKeeper 2.0 is based on the actual decline in turnover and you don't want to get that number wrong,” he said.

“If the employer is banking on that reimbursement then you've got to make sure there's none of this projection or wiggle room of falling short; it has to be a real number based on the definition of current GST turnover.

“For some entities that is easy, for other entities not so much because of adjustments, but I think everyone's going to be a lot more cautious bedding down that number.”

To claim JobKeeper fortnights beginning 28 September and 12 October, businesses must also meet the wage condition for all eligible employees under the JobKeeper scheme.

The wage condition means employers have to first pay the amount of the JobKeeper rate entitled to the employee.

“You need to pay each eligible employee at least the JobKeeper payment rate that applies to them,” the ATO website states.

To enrol for the JobKeeper payments, employers should access the ATO’s online platform through myGov or log into the Business Portal using myGovID.

Another assessment of eligibility relating to their GST turnover will apply again from 4 January next year.

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