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Treasurer registers JobKeeper 2.0 legislative instrument, setting out the rules

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has registered the rules governing the JobKeeper extension just two weeks before the changes are scheduled to take place.

Treasurer registers JobKeeper 2.0 legislative instrument, setting out the rules
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • September 16, 2020
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According to the explanatory statement of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 8), the rules ensure that JobKeeper is “tapered in the December 2020 and March 2021 quarters and provides targeted assistance to entities that need assistance the most”.

JobKeeper 2.0 is due to replace the current flat $1,500 a fortnight subsidy with a two-tiered system from 28 September.

The subsidy will consist of a $750 fortnightly payment for those working under 20 hours pre-COVID and $1,200 per fortnight for others. This well then be reduced further from January next year to $650 and $1,000, respectively.

According to the explanatory statement, to qualify for any type of JobKeeper payments for JobKeeper fortnights beginning on or after 28 September 2020, an entity must satisfy the new actual decline in turnover test for the quarter applicable to the fortnight.

For JobKeeper fortnights between 28 September 2020 and 3 January 2021 (inclusive), the applicable quarter is the quarter ending 30 September 2020. For JobKeeper fortnights between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021 (inclusive), the applicable quarter is the quarter ending 31 December 2020.

Under the new test, the entity must have had an actual decline in its turnover for the applicable quarter relative to its comparable quarter in 2019. 

The statement explains that the percentage decline for the quarter for the entity under the new test must be equal to or greater than the required percentage decline in turnover of 15 per cent, 30 per cent or 50 per cent (as applicable). 

The statement also specifies that the new actual decline in turnover test applies in conjunction with the original decline in turnover test.

Entities that have already qualified for the JobKeeper scheme prior to 28 September 2020 are not required to apply the original decline in turnover test again, however entities that have not previously participated in the scheme are required to demonstrate that they satisfy both the original decline in turnover test and the new decline in turnover test. 

Due to the additional requirement to test decline in actual GST turnover twice under the extended scheme, the Commissioner of Taxation will have additional powers to specify how turnover is determined for the purposes of the new test to ensure compliance costs are minimised.

The legislative instrument can be found here.

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