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Assess your eligibility for the JobKeeper 2.0 payment scheme
13 January 2021 | Minutes to read: 3

Assess your eligibility for the JobKeeper 2.0 payment scheme

By William Buck

The start of the new year brought with it the second JobKeeper extension (the first having ended on 3 January 2021). Having come into effect on 4 January 2021, now’s the time to review your eligibility for the new extension and ensure you’re registered.

See below some key dates and a summary of action points to take. Note also to check with the payroll provider/software provider for any steps required as part of this process.

Key dates

  • 4 January 2021– The JobKeeper extension 2 started and the payment rates decrease to $1,000 (higher rate) and $650 (lower rate) for your eligible employees, eligible religious practitioners and eligible business participants.
  • 28 January 2021– Extended due date for the December business monthly declaration (i.e. for the first JobKeeper extension period).
  • 31 January 2021– New entities enrolling for JobKeeper 2.0 will need to enrol and submit their ‘Check decline in turnover’ form to the ATO.
  • 31 January 2021– For JobKeeper fortnights 21 and 22 only (from 4 January 2021 and 18 January respectively), the ATO will allow employers until 31 January 2021 to meet the JobKeeper 2.0 wage condition (i.e. pay at least the applicable JobKeeper 2.0 amount for each eligible employee for both January JobKeeper 2.0 fortnights).

If you’re already registered for JobKeeper

  1. By 31 January 2021 ensure you have submitted your “check decline in turnover” form to the ATO. This will ensure you remain in the program.
  2. Continue to process payroll through STP and lodge monthly declarations to receive payment. Employee Tier levels should not change from the first JobKeeper extension period as the reference period for the 80-hour threshold remains the same.
  3. If any employees become ineligible (via termination, change in citizenship, etc.) ensure you notify the ATO to stop payment.

If you’re not currently registered for JobKeeper

  1. Do you meet the eligibility criteria? As at 1 March 2020 were you carrying on a business? Check requirements here >
  2. Check you meet the decline in turnover test – Check if there has been a decline in your actual GST turnover by at least the relevant percentage applicable to you.
    • In most cases, this would involve a comparison of the total sales (excluding GST) in the BAS for the quarter ending 31 December 2020 to the total sales (excluding GST) in the BAS for the quarter ended 31 December 2019.
    • If the requisite decline in turnover is not satisfied, check whether an alternative test applies. These are complex in their application so we recommend you contact us if you believe an alternative test may apply.
  1. Register with the ATO by submitting your decline in turnover form and providing some key business information.
  2. Calculate whether the total hours for your eligible employees and, if applicable, your eligible business participant, was at least 80 hours for the relevant reference period/s. Total hours for employees includes actual hours worked, paid leave and paid absence for public holidays.
    • The relevant reference period/s will generally be a particular 28 or 29-day period and is not to be confused with the current JobKeeper fortnight.
    • If the total hours calculated for the reference period is at least 80 hours, the higher rate of $1,000 per fortnight will apply. Note that for your eligible business participant, you must receive a supporting declaration from them specifying they were actively engaged in the business for at least 80 hours.
    • If the 80 hours is not satisfied, check whether an alternative reference period can be used to satisfy the 80 hours requirement. Otherwise, the lower rate of $650 will apply in respect of that individual.
    • For your eligible employees, if you cannot readily ascertain the number of hours worked, consider whether you fall into one of the specified circumstances in which the higher rate is deemed to apply.
  1. Obtain completed Jobkeeper employee nomination notices from each eligible employee prior to enrolling them. This is to ensure they are not being paid Jobkeeper under another employer.
  2. Enrol employees in Jobkeeper (via STP) including notifying the Commissioner which Payment Rate applies to each employee. This process differs depending on which payroll software is used.
  3. Make any top-up payments (if any) for JobKeeper fortnights 21 and 22 (starting 4 January 2021 and 18 January 2021). These need to be made by 31 January 2021.
  4. Make monthly business declarations by their relevant due dates (generally by the 14th of the following month). Once the declaration is made each month, the ATO will process payment.

If you have any questions regarding this or require our assistance, please contact our office.

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