The Commissioner of Taxation on 23 April 2020 released the legislative instrument under the “JobKeeper” program that is intended to provide employment-related relief in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Under the JobKeeper program, employers will need to reconfirm that reported eligible employees have not changed so that employers will continue to receive the JobKeeper payments from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). An employer does not need to retest the reported decrease in turnover, but will need to provide some information as to its current and projected turnover. This will be done in the employer’s monthly JobKeeper declaration report.
An employer or a registered tax professional can file for the JobKeeper payment. Each month, if the employer’s eligible employees change or leave the employment, the employer will need to notify the ATO through the monthly JobKeeper declaration report.
The Commissioner of Taxation’s legislative instrument sets out how the Commissioner intends to apply a number of discretionary actions under the JobKeeper rules. To be eligible for JobKeeper payments, an employer entity must, among other things, satisfy a decline in turnover test. The Commissioner has the discretion to approve an alternative decline in turnover test for a class of entities, when there would not be any appropriate comparison period under the basic test in the JobKeeper rules. The Commissioner can be expected to use this power sparingly.
If an entity satisfies the basic test, but also would be within the scope of one of the alternative tests, then that entity passes the decline in turnover test, regardless of what the outcome under the alternative test might have been.
The Commissioner has specified the alternative comparison period that entities can use in the following circumstances (note that the summary below is based on a turnover test period of a month; if the entity has a turnover test period of a quarter, then the principles are to be adapted accordingly):
For more information, contact a KPMG tax professional in Australia:
Andy Hutt | +61 2 9335 8655 | email@example.com
Jenny Wong | +61 2 9335 8661 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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