JobKeeper and JobSeeker changes announced by the Federal Government

22 July 2020

Yesterday, The Prime Minister and Treasurer announced an extension of the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments as well as changes to the schemes that will take effect after the planned end date in September. 

JobKeeper 2.0

Key points:

  • Jobkeeper “1.0” will continue as planned until 27 September 2020
  • Jobkeeper “2.0” will apply for a further 6 months from 28 September 2020 through to 28 March 2021
  • The current $1,500 per fortnight subsidy will be reduced from 28 September 2020 with the introduction of a two tiered payment system.
  • Access to Jobkeeper 2.0 will depend on satisfying the decline in turnover tests for both the June and September 2020 quarters with the test reapplied for the December 2020 quarter for continued access from 4 January 2021.

The JobKeeper scheme which was originally due to end this September has been extended for a further 6 months for businesses and not for profits that continue to be in financial distress due to COVID-19. 

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, JobKeeper payments will be $1,200 a fortnight for eligible full-time workers and eligible business participants. Eligible employees and eligible business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours a week will receive $750 per fortnight.

JobKeeper payments will be further reduced starting on 4 January 2021. From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 eligible fulltime workers and eligible business participants will receive $1,000 a fortnight. Eligible employees and business participants that worked less than 20 hours a week will receive $650 a fortnight. 

In order to determine how many hours that an eligible employee has worked, the four weeks for pay periods before 1 March 2020 will be assessed. Eligible business participants will be entitled to the higher rate where they were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020.

The Commissioner of Taxation will have the discretion to set out alternative tests where an employee or business participant’s hours were not usual during February 2020.

Read more >

Instant Asset Write-off Extended

10 June 2020

The Federal Government’s $150,000 instant asset write-off scheme will be extended until the end of December 2020 to support millions of businesses which are set to benefit from the accelerated deductions.

After expanding the scheme from covering assets with a cost of less than $30,000 to a cost of less than $150,000 and extending access to the scheme to include medium sized businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government has announced that it plans to extend the deadline for accessing the scheme from 30 June 2020 to December 31 2020.

The Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said the extended timeframe would help firms to invest in assets to support their business as the economy reopens and coronavirus health restrictions continue to be eased.

The instant asset write-off scheme allows small and medium-sized businesses to bring forward tax deductions on eligible asset purchases. 

Businesses with a turnover of up to $500 million per year will be able to claim an immediate tax deduction on certain asset purchases that cost less than $150,000.

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Payroll Tax and Workers Compensation Relief For JobKeeper Top Up Payments

5 June 2020

Following on from the previous Payroll tax relief measures, the NSW Government has now announced that any top up payments made to employees for JobKeeper will be exempt from payroll tax.

Further, The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has determined that only payments made for work undertaken or hours worked are to be included as wages to calculate workers compensation premiums.

Employers must pay their eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight to receive the JobKeeper payments. Any additional wages paid to employees to meet the requirements of the JobKeeper scheme will be exempt from payroll tax and workers compensation.

Click here for scenarios & examples

If you're an employer who pays wages in NSW, you must register for payroll tax if your total Australian wages exceed the relevant monthly threshold.

If you're a member of a group, the total Australian wages paid by all members of the group determines whether you should register for payroll tax.

For more information on payroll tax or workers compensation, contact your Boyce Accountant.

COVID-19 Small Business Support Grant - Applications extended Until 30 June 2020

4 June 2020

The NSW Government has extended the Small Business Support Grant to ease the pressures on small business as a result of COVID-19. The funding aims to support the ongoing operations of small businesses highly impacted from the COVID-19 pandemic following the NSW Public Health Order of 31 March 2020.

Funds may only be used for unavoidable business expenses that are not supported by other government funding.

These expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • utilities 
  • council rates
  • telecommunication charges
  • insurance payments
  • professional advice
  • wages for an employee not eligible for JobKeeper payments
  • franchise fees
  • paying creditors, if your business is closing.

To be eligible for this grant, you must: 

  • be based in NSW
  • meet the small business guidelines
  • be registered with an ABN as at 1 March 2020
  • have an annual turnover of more than $75,000 (a Business Activity Statement must be provided as evidence)  Where a small business does not submit a BAS to the ATO and meets all other criteria, the small business should contact Service NSW to discuss further. In these cases, an income tax declaration may be accepted as evidence of an annual turnover of $75,000.
  • employ 1-19 full-time workers as at 1 March 2020 
  • be able to report a payroll below the NSW 2019-2020 payroll tax threshold of $900,000
  • have been highly impacted by Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 effective on 30 March 2020
  • have experienced at least 75% decline in turnover compared to the same two-week period in 2019, as a result of COVID-19 (for businesses that have been in operation for less than 12 months, refer to the guidelines)
  • have unavoidable business costs not otherwise the subject of other NSW and Commonwealth Government financial assistance measures

Read more >

JobKeeper Reminder - Business Monthly Declaration Due 14 June 2020

3 June 2020

If you are claiming the JobKeeper payments, you are required to complete a business monthly declaration with the ATO. You must do this in the first 14 days after the month you are claiming for. 

The ATO will ask you to re-confirm the business participant details and your eligible employees (ensuring they’ve been paid at least $1,500 per fortnight). You will also need to provide the ATO with information about your GST turnover for May and projected GST turnover for June.

The information you provide is not a re-test of your eligibility.

If any of your eligible employees change or leave your employment, you will need to update this employee information through your monthly declaration.

For instructions on how to complete your monthly declaration, please click here.

If you require help completing your declaration or would like more information, please contact your local Boyce accountant.

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