Coronavirus Resources and Support

he challenges presented by the Corona Virus to business, employers, employees, the economy, every single one of us in Australia and worldwide is unprecedented. We have also created a Remote Work Resources page with links, tips, information and resources.

Read our latest Client Update on Jobkeeper 2.1 – Updated 24th September 2020

We have collated various resources from our professional partners and networks. We will work with our clients to test eligiblity ASAP.

Importantly, employers and entities with eligible business participants are able to enrol for the JKP for the extension period even where they have not previously enrolled, subject to meeting all the new and existing
eligibility criteria (e.g., a business was carried on in Australia on 1 March 2020).

https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/JobKeeper-extension-announcement/

The decline in turnover test

For businesses already enrolled in JobKeeper, to receive payments from 28 September 2020, you need to meet an extended decline in turnover test based on actual GST turnover. Businesses that are enrolling for the first time, need to meet the basic eligibility test and the decline in turnover test/s for the relevant period.
30 March to 27 September 2020
28 September to 3 January 2021
4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 Decline in turnover test Projected GST turnover for a relevant month or quarter is expected to fall by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same period in 2019.* Actual GST turnover in the September 2020 quarter (July, August & September) fell by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same period in 2019.* Actual GST turnover in the December 2020 quarter (October, November & December) fell by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same period in 2019.*
* Alternative tests may apply

Most businesses will generally use their Business Activity Statement (BAS) reporting to assess eligibility. However, as the BAS deadlines are generally not until the month after the end of the quarter, eligibility for JobKeeper will need to be assessed in advance of the BAS reporting deadlines to meet the wage condition for eligible employees.The ATO has the power to extend the time an entity has to pay employees in order to meet the wage condition. For the JobKeeper fortnights starting 28 September 2020 and 12 October 2020 the ATO is allowing employers until 31 October 2020 to meet the wage condition for all employees included in the JobKeeper scheme.

https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/JobKeeper-extension-announcement/

Calculating GST turnover
Calculating GST turnover for tranches 2 and 3 of JobKeeper is different to the original JobKeeper requirements as entities will only be using current GST turnover figures (not projected GST turnover).
When applying the new turnover reduction tests for the September 2020 quarter and December 2020 quarter, entities that are registered for GST must use the same method that is used for GST reporting purposes. That is, if the entity is registered for GST on a cash basis then a cash basis needs to be used to calculate current GST turnover for the purpose of these new tests. Entities that are not registered for GST can choose whether to calculate GST turnover using a cash or accruals basis, but must use a consistent method.

Current GST turnover includes proceeds from the sale of capital assets, unless the sale is input taxed. Current GST turnover includes taxable and GST-free supplies, but should exclude input taxed supplies such as residential rental income and financial supplies like dividends, interest etc. JobKeeper and ATO cash flow boost payments should be excluded from the calculation along with other payments that don’t represent consideration for a supply made by the entity such as certain State based grants.

You will need to show that your actual GST turnover has declined in the September 2020 quarter relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019). See the actual decline in turnover test.

You also need to have satisfied the original decline in turnover test. However, if you:

Were entitled to receive JobKeeper for fortnights before 28 September, you have already satisfied the original decline in turnover test
are enrolling in JobKeeper for the first time from 28 September 2020, if you satisfy the actual decline in turnover test, you will also satisfy the original decline in turnover test (except for certain universities). You can enrol on that basis.

Here are some resources from our Professional Partners:

This infographic Below from the Tax Institute provides a visual summary.

The extension of the JKP by six months to 28 March 2021 will see the scheme tapered with respect to
both the December 2020 and March 2021 quarters for all eligible employees and business participants to
provide appropriately targeted assistance. In addition, a two-tiered payment system will apply based on
hours of work or active engagement.

To qualify for the JKP after 27 September 2020 (i.e., for JobKeeper 2.0) businesses must satisfy two
separate decline in turnover tests, being:
• the original projected GST decline in turnover test – adjusted under the Amending Rules to include a
comparison of the projected GST turnover of any of the calendar months from March 2020 to December
2020 (or any of the June 2020, September 2020 or December 2020 quarters) against the actual GST
turnover of the relevant 2019 comparison period; and
• the new actual GST decline in turnover test – contact us for more information

Legislation introduced for extended JobKeeper payments – Updated 28 August 2020 (Source CPA Australia)
Legislative amendments to allow the government to make payments for the JobKeeper Payments scheme up to Sunday 28 March 2021 have been introduced into Parliament. The extension of scheme beyond Sunday 27 September 2020 was announced on Tuesday 21 July 2020.Extended JobKeeper prescribed period

The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020 amends the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Act 2020 to revise the existing “prescribed period” which otherwise ends on Thursday 31 December 2020, to facilitate the extension of the scheme to Sunday 28 March 2021.Eligible financial service providers to sign decline in turnover test certificates for Fair Work purposes

The Bill also makes amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 in relation to the extended JobKeeper Payments scheme. This includes the proposed sections 789GC, 789GCB and 789GCD of the Fair Work Act which will require certain businesses to obtain a certificate from an eligible financial service provider, including registered tax agents and BAS agents, stating that the entity has satisfied the 10% decline in turnover test per JobKeeper rules and legislative instruments. This will enable legacy JobKeeper employers to be able to give JobKeeper enabling stand down directions and JobKeeper enabling directions in relation to duties and location of work and can make agreements about days and times of work.

JobKeeper August declaration – what is different
The August JobKeeper monthly business declaration is due by Friday 14 September. The August declaration is different with three fortnights to claim:

  • Fortnight 9 – commencing 20 July
  • Fortnight 10 – commencing 3 August
  • Fortnight 11 – commencing 17 August 2020.

Remember to include employees that are newly eligible and employed at Wednesday 1 July 2020. You can do this as part of the monthly declaration, however newly eligible employees as at 1 July can only be included from fortnight 10. For fortnights 10 and 11, you have until Monday 31 August to meet the wage condition for all new eligible employees included in the JobKeeper scheme, under the 1 July eligibility test.


LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT AFFECT JOBKEEPER 1.0 – UPDATED 14 AUGUST 2020

LMS clients were provided with an update on JobKeeper 2.0 on the 4th August 2020. Please note New legislation and announcements by Treasury were made on the 12th August 2020 which affect the current JobKeeper scheme as it applies to your business.

The most important factor to be aware of relates to changes to the employment reference date. This is the key date that we tested employee eligibility at the commencement of the scheme. Click on any of the hyperlinks below for more detailed information.

https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/Employers/Your-eligible-employees/
https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/JobKeeper-key-dates/

The date has been moved from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020. This means more employees on your payroll may become eligible for Jobkeeper. The effective date of this change relates to pay runs commencing 3rd August 2020 (Jobkeeper Fortnight 10). You will have until 31 August 2020 to “Top Up” any new employees with a payment shortfall.

Businesses will need to reassess eligibility at 1 July to see if

  1. Any new employees satisfy the Employee Eligibility criteria
  2. Ensure they are provided with the latest Employee nomination forms, and
  3. the minimum wage condition is satisfied before 31 August 2020

New employees who could meet the criteria include those who satisfy the 1 July 2020 Test:

  1. Employee’s working on a full time or part time basis who commenced employment between 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020.
  2. Long term casuals who were not eligible as at 1 March 2020 because they were employed for less than 12 months, but reach 12 months service by 1 July 2020
  3. Anybody who turned 18 years old after 1 March 2020 and before 1 July 2020 who was previously excluded due to age may now be eligible (other criteria applies)

Current Existing employees under the Jobkeeper payment regime do not need to be retested, they will continue to be eligible. Your role as an employer will be to reassess the remainder of your workforce who were previously excluded.

Please contact us urgently if you require assistance in reassessing eligibility.

JobKeeper payment and income support extended (Source Tax Institute Australia and Aus Govt Treasury Dept) published 24.7.2020

The Treasurer has announced in a joint statement with the Prime Minister

significant changes to the JobKeeper program to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and bolster economic recovery.

Key changes include:

  • The JobKeeper Payment will be extended by six months to 28 March 2021
  • The temporary Coronavirus Supplement for those on income support will be extended until 31 December 2020.
  • JobKeeper payment for 28 September to 3 January is $1200 full rate per fortnight or $750 for less than 20 hours worked per fortnight rate
  • JobKeeper payment for 4 January – 28 March is $1000 full rate per fortnight or $650 for less than 20 hours worked per fortnight rate
  • The Commissioner will have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances

Further Information is available here:


Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme extended

The Treasurer has announced the Federal Government is extending the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme to help businesses as they move into the recovery phase of the coronavirus crisis.

The next phase of the Scheme will include:

  • Extending the purpose of loans able to be provided beyond working capital, such that a wider range of investment can be funded;
  • Permitting secured lending (excluding commercial or residential property);
  • Increasing the maximum loan size to $1 million (from $250,000) per borrower;
  • Increasing the maximum loan term to five years (from three years); and
  • Allowing lenders the discretion to offer a repayment holiday period.

The second phase of the Scheme will start on 1 October 2020 and will be available until 30 June 2021. The initial phase of the Scheme will remain available for new loans issued by eligible lenders until 30 September 2020.

Read more here.


Over $1 billion in tax refunds paid to Australians

The Treasurer has announced the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has paid over $1 billion dollars in tax refunds in the first two weeks of tax time.

As of 14 July, more than 457,000 individual refunds have been issued, totalling more than $1.08 billion, with an average refund of $2365.

Compared to the same time last year, the ATO had issued 389,000 individual refunds, totalling more than $879 million, with an average refund of $2258.

The return of $1 billion to the Australians is welcome news during the current COVID-19 pandemic and will provide a great cash boost for the economy.

Read more here.


HomeBuilder

HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. HomeBuilder will assist the residential construction market by encouraging the commencement of new home builds and renovations.

You will be able to apply for HomeBuilder when the relevant State or Territory Government that you live in, or plan to live in, signs the National Partnership Agreement with the Commonwealth Government.

Information on when and how you will be able to apply will become available through the relevant State or Territory revenue office in due course.

Information about what Homebuilder will mean for the construction industry is available on business.gov.auor by contacting 13 28 46. Please keep in touch with business.gov.au for updated State and Territory information as it becomes available.

New South Wales

Further information on eligibility and application processes for those wishing to access the Commonwealth HomeBuilder grant will be made available shortly through the New South Wales Revenue Office, Revenue NSW. You can also contact Revenue NSW at Home.Builder@revenue.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 130 624.


JobTrainer package announced

Thursday, 16 July 2020

The Australian Government will invest $2 billion to give hundreds of thousands of Australians access to new skills by retraining and upskilling them into sectors with job opportunities, as the economy recovers from COVID-19.

In partnership with the states and territories, more Australians will have access to free, or low cost, training places in areas of identified skills needs through the establishment of a new $1 billion JobTrainer fund.This will include $500 million from the Australian Government this year, with a matched contribution being sought from state and territory governments.The JobTrainer fund will provide for around 340,700 additional training places to help school leavers and job seekers gain the skills they need to get a job.A further $1.5 billion will be made available to expand and extend the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy.Eligibility for the subsidy will be expanded to include medium-sized businesses with fewer than 200 employees who had an apprentice in place on 1 July 2020.The wage subsidy will also be extended to 31 March 2021.

Next steps

Registrations are open. Final claims must be lodged by 31 December 2021.

Visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.

Visit the Australian Apprenticeships website.

Boosting cash flow for employers

The ATO will provide tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 to $100,000 to eligible employers that have been affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Temporary cash flow boosts will support small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations during the economic downturn associated with COVID-19.

Eligible businesses and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations who employ staff will receive between $20,000 to $100,000 in cash flow boost amounts by lodging their activity statements up to the month or quarter of September 2020.

The cash flow boosts will be delivered as credits in the activity statement system. They will generally be equivalent to the amount withheld from wages paid to employees for each monthly or quarterly period from March to June 2020. In practice, this means you keep the amounts you have withheld from payments for these periods. However, there are some exceptions.

An additional cash flow boost will be applied when activity statements for each monthly or quarterly period from June to September 2020 are lodged. These credits are equal to the total boosts credited for March to June 2020. They will be paid out in either two or four instalments depending on your reporting cycle.

On this page:


Small Business Measures – Source Tax Institute Australia

JobKeeper Payment – What Employers need to know

Understand what employers can do to ready themselves for the JobKeeper payment.Read more here.

JobKeeper Payment – How Employers can prepare

The new JobKeeper Payment has now passed through parliament and the ATO is working to assist businesses to access the scheme, helping them to retain employees. Read more here.

JobKeeper Payment – Enrolments are open

You can enrol for JobKeeper by logging into the Business Portal using myGovID. Read more here.

JobKeeper Payment – Your eligible employees

The ATO has released information to help you determine which employees are eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment. Read more here.

JobKeeper Payment – Paying your eligible employees

You can continue to pay your eligible employees the minimum amount of $1,500 if you re-hire them or they earn less than this per fortnight. Read more here.

JobKeeper Payment – Helpful Business Guides

JobKeeper guides

The ATO has listed JobKeeper guides for sole traders, employers reporting through STP and employers not reporting through STP.

The following guides provide a high-level summary of the JobKeeper Payment scheme:

JobKeeper Payment – Support for businesses

The ATO released information on JobKeeper Payment support for businesses significantly affected by COVID-19. Read more here.

JobKeeper Payment – Support for employers

The ATO has released information about JobKeeper payments for employers affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more here.

JobKeeper Payment – Eligible employers

If you meet the eligibility criteria and want to start claiming the JobKeeper payment on behalf of your employees, you need to start paying them at least $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight and continue to pay them salary and wages for as long as you keep claiming. Read more here.

JobKeeper Payment – Amount of payment

Employers will receive a payment from the ATO equating to $1,500 per employee per fortnight as long as you and your employees meet the eligibility criteria. Read more here.

JobKeeper Payment – Sole traders and other entities

The ATO has released information about the JobKeeper business participation entitlement that may apply to sole traders and some entities. Read more here.

JobKeeper Payment – Tax and BAS agents

Tax and BAS agents play an important role in helping businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). A legislative instrument was registered on 16 April 2020 to allow registered BAS agents to provide services to support the JobKeeper Payment scheme.

Read more here.

Supporting private businesses – DC Tim Dyce

ATO Deputy Commissioner Tim Dyce provides an update on resources available to private groups and their entities. Read more here.

Small business webinars

The ATO offers webinars for people who are just starting a business, thinking about starting a new business or who want to update their knowledge. Read more here.

Creating your own employee nomination notice

The ATO has released information on creating your own employee nomination notice for JobKeeper. Read more here.

Boosting cash flow for employers

The ATO will provide tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 to $100,000 to eligible employers that have been affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Read more here.

Cash flow boost for employers – Schemes to artificially create or inflate entitlements

The ATO is aware of schemes that may be used to create inappropriate entitlements to the cash flow boost for employers.

Read more here.

Cash flow boost for employers – Fraudulent arrangements

The ATO will be looking out for businesses who try to fraudulently access the cash flow boost for employers. Read more here.

The ATO has released a range of guidance on the JobKeeper Payment including:

Treasury releases a 12 Page Fact Sheet and Scenario Examples for JobKeeper

https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper
https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/JobKeeper_frequently_asked_questions.pdf

Please reach out to us for any support you might need. We are here to assist.


Childcare Support – Announced 2nd April 2020

ATO Guidance on Deductibility of Costs of Working from Home


  • Coronavirus Resources Government Stimulus and Support for all AustraliansNSW Government Small Business Support GrantThe NSW COVID-19 Small Business Support Grant of $10,000 will be available to eligible small business owners across NSW. The application form will be on the Service NSW website by 17 April.Your business may be eligible if it:
    • operates in an industry highly impacted by the Public Health Order 2020 issued 30 March and has suffered a decline in turnover of 75 per cent
    • has between 1-19 employees and an annual payroll below $900,000 (the NSW payroll tax threshold)
    • has an annual turnover of more than $75,000
    • has an Australian Business Number (ABN), is based in NSW and employs staff as at 1 March 2020
    • has unavoidable fixed costs not otherwise the subject of other NSW and Commonwealth Government financial assistance measures.
    For more information head to Service NSW.

ATO Support and Resources (These links are constantly updated with new content)

– Source ato.gov.au / Tax Institute.com.au

The Australian Government’s Economic Response to Coronavirus

On 12 March 2020, the government announced a package of measures to help the economy withstand and recover from the economic impact of coronavirus. Read more here.

COVID-19 Support Page

The ATO has created a new support page with information, guidance and assistance for individuals who have been affected by COVID-19 outbreak. Read more here.

Support measures to assist those affected by COVID-19

The ATO will implement a series of administrative measures to assist Australians experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more here.

Support for large business impacted by COVID-19

The ATO has implemented measures to assist large businesses experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more here.

ATO podcast – Tax inVoice

The ATO’s podcast Tax inVoice is the easy way to keep updated about the latest tax and super information, and how you can meet your obligations. Read more here.

Alexander Laureti is the Principal and Managing Director of LMS Advisory. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Law, and he is a Fellow of the CPA (Certified Practising Accountants) and a Chartered Tax Advisor. Alexander has over 17 years of experience as an accountant in Public Practice.
Blog & News

LMS Advisory PTY LTD Blog & News

  • 2024-25 Federal Budget Wrap

    Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers MP presented the Australian Labor Party's 2024-25 budget last night. The budget emphasised efforts to alleviate the cost of living crisis, increase housing construction, support local manufacturing ("A Future Made in Australia"), facilitate upskilling and education access, enhance Medicare, and bolster the care economy. The budget this year is expected to…

    Alexander Laureti

  • Proposed changes to the Stage 3 Tax Cuts

    ✂️ Backflip or Timely Pivot? ✂️ The Government has announced changes to the already legislated stage 3 tax cuts commencing on 1 July 2024. In a media release on Thursday 25 January 2024, the Government stated that it has reversed its position to leave the Stage 3 tax cuts and instead proposed changes that are…

    Alexander Laureti

  • Five Principal Debt Collection Focuses of the ATO

    By Alexander LauretiSeptember 12, 2023 The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has recently identified five primary types of business debts that are now under its heightened scrutiny. This shift in focus comes as the ATO winds down the exceptional leniency it previously extended to late payers during the COVID-19 lockdowns. At the Tax Institute Tax Summit…

    Alexander Laureti