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JobKeeper changes announced, deadline extended

The JobKeeper rules have been updated to include service entities and to shed light on charities and the treatment of government revenue.

JobKeeper changes announced, deadline extended
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • April 27, 2020
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To ensure the integrity and the efficient operation of the JobKeeper payment, the Treasurer has announced several clarifications in a statement issued on Friday night, including those addressing employees employed through a special purpose entity, rather than an operating entity. 

According to Josh Frydenberg, the government will provide an alternate decline in turnover test for the eligibility of special purpose service entities that provide employee labour to group members and that have not met the basic test for decline in turnover.

"This alternate test will apply where an entity provides the services of its employees to one or more related entities, where those related entities carry on a business deriving revenue from unrelated third parties," the Treasurer explained.

"The alternate test will be by reference to the combined GST turnovers of the related entities using the services of the employer entity."

In terms of charities, the Treasurer confirmed that changes will allow charities other than schools and universities, to elect to exclude government revenue from the JobKeeper turnover test. 

"This will allow employing charities receiving revenue from government to use either their total turnover, or their turnover excluding government revenue, for the purposes of assessing eligibility for the JobKeeper payment," the Treasurer said. 

He also noted that further alterations will allow JobKeeper payments to be made to religious institutions in respect of religious practitioners, recognising that many religious practitioners are not ‘employees’ of their religious institutions.

Moreover, full-time students who are 17 years old and younger, and who are not financially independent, are not eligible for JobKeeper.

Extension of time to enrol for the JobKeeper scheme

The ATO noted also over the weekend, that the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods has been extended from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.

"If you enrol by 31 May you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights," the ATO has clarified.

"This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight."

For the first two fortnights (30 March–12 April, 13–26 April), the ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by an employer even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by the end of April.

It advised employers that they can enrol and claim for JobKeeper earlier if they choose.

"For example, you can enrol by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for the two fortnights in April," the Tax Office said. 

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