JobKeeper, JobKeeper, JobKeeper! Oh, plus ATO Audits!

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are doing well. Read on for this week’s update.

JobKeeper Adjustments for Eligible Employees

The ATO has released guidance on the changes to the timing of an eligible employee.

From JobKeeper fortnights commencing 3rd August, the key date for eligible employees has changed to 1 July. In the past, an employee had to be on the books as of the 1st of March in order to be eligible for the JobKeeper wage subsidy. This change is to allow for businesses that started opening up and taking on new employees after March.

Any full time or part time worker as of 1 July or any casual employee with over 12 months regular and consistent service of a business is an eligible employee for JobKeeper purposes.

Full time or part employees who commenced work after 1 March and before 1 July will now be eligible. However, there are also several other categories of employees who might become eligible under this change over this time frame:

  • Casuals who with the extended date now meet the 12 months service requirement;
  • Employees who turned 18;
  • Employees who meet the Visa requirements.

All eligible employees must be provided the nomination notice by this Friday 21st August. Note that this only applies to previously ineligible employees who now are eligible. Any employee who was eligible as at 1 March keeps this status and there is no need for them to confirm their eligibility again.

There’s also some good news for businesses on JobKeeper as the ATO has announced employers will have until 31 August to ensure these new eligible employees are paid the minimum $1,500 per fortnight wage requirement.

JobKeeper Changes Coming in September

You probably heard the announcement that JobKeeper will be extended from September through to March next year, with some changes.

On 7th August 2020, the government announced that the eligibility requirements will be changed so:

  • Employers will only need to show one quarter of turnover decline to be eligible for payments in the quarters ending December 2020 and March 2021.
  • Employers will be able to claim payments for eligible employees hired on or before 1st July 2020 (previously 1st March 2020).
  • Employers can take into account the hours worked by an employee in the lead up to either 1st March 2020 or 1st July 2020 when determining the payment rate during the extension periods.

Please be aware there are more details to come.

JobKeeper Key Dates

The ATO’s website has an up-to-date listing of JobKeeper Key Dates including the enrollment deadline for new eligible employees.

JobKeeper 2.0

The next phase of JobKeeper will start at the end of September at a reduced rate of $1200 per fortnight for full-time workers and those working for more than 20 hours per week, from $1500 per fortnight previously. Those working for less than 20 hours a week will receive $750 per fortnight.

JobKeeper 3.0

From 4th January 2021 the payments will further decrease to $1000 per fortnight for full-time workers, and to $650 per fortnight for those working less than 20 hours per week.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

JobKeeper and Cashflow Boost Audits

The ATO has announced that it will be actively conducting audits on the cashflow boost JobKeeper scheme.

If you receive contact from the ATO to review your JobKeeper eligibility, you will be required to provide documentation as proof that you meet the eligibility criteria. This may include:

  • Bank statements
  • Tax invoices
  • Profit & loss statements
  • Employee details and contracts
  • Payslips
  • Application of turnover test
  • Superannuation payments

Meanwhile, if the ATO would like to review your eligibility for the cashflow boost, you will be required to supply the following documentation:

  • Bank statements
  • Employee data and information
  • Payslips
  • Updated Single Touch Payroll Reporting
  • Tax invoices
  • Written communication between stakeholders to substantiate changes in payments

At this point, the ATO has not yet outlined the JobKeeper audit penalties. However, based on other audits, they are expected to be significant. If you have any concerns, please get in touch.

Early Access to Super

The Government has extended the deadline for cash-strapped Australians to dip into their super to make ends meet with the early access superannuation scheme extended until 31 December.

The original scheme to allow cash to be drawn out of retirement funds permitted $10,000 before 1 July and a further $10,000 after that.
We are happy to chat to you about this so you can consider all your options before making this leap.

Deal signed with AstraZeneca for Possible COVID-19 Vaccine

Australia has signed a deal with AstraZeneca to secure a potential COVID-19 vaccine. A letter of intent has been signed with the drugmaker to produce and distribute enough doses for our population.

There’s also $24.7 million deal with Becton Dickinson to buy 100 million needles and syringes.

Support for Victorian businesses

To support businesses impacted by restrictions in Victoria, one-off grants are available to eligible businesses under the Business Support Fund. These include:

  • $10,000 for employing businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in recognition of longer time under restrictions
  • $5,000 for employing businesses in regional local government areas (except Mitchell Shire)

Businesses who have already received a Business Support Fund – Expansion grant, or have applied for one, do not need to re-apply. Eligible applicants will automatically receive this additional allocation.

You can find more details here or contact us if you have any questions.

Avoiding COVID-19 Online Scams

Recently, there has been a significant increase in COVID-19-related online scams that steal your personal data, impersonate authorities, offer fraudulent medical goods and services, and make fake requests for charitable donations. Below are some tips from Google Safety Center to keep you from falling victim to these scams.

  • Know how scammers may reach you– Aside from emails, they may also use text messages, automated calls, and malicious websites.
  • Check trusted sources directly– Scammers may pose as trusted and authoritative sources. So directly visit reliable sources instead to get the latest factual information.
  • Be cautious of requests for personal or financial information, pause and evaluate before sharing– Do not provide confidential information such as logins, bank details, and addresses to suspicious or unverified sources. Donate directly through non-profits.
  • Double-check links and email addresses before clicking– Fake links imitate established websites by adding extra random letters and numbers or words, so be extra careful and check before you click.
  • Search to see if it’s been reported– Copy and paste the email address, phone number, or suspicious portion of the message on your search engine to check if it has already been reported.
  • Add an extra layer of security to your account– Add two-factor authentications to your accounts for extra protection online.

If you encounter phishing pages, you can report it here. For malicious software, you can report the site here.

Government-backed COVID-19 Loans Extended

The government is extending its small business COVID-19 loans scheme until June 2021. The second phase will kick off on October 1 with some changes.

If you need help to access these loans or you want to find out if you are eligible, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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