The JobKeeper rules continue to be a moving feast. The ATO has recently extended the deadline to register for the JobKeeper payments for April and May, as well as the mandatory monthly business declaration for April to 31 May 2020.
In addition, the ATO has released alternative decline in turnover tests that may be used by businesses to register for the JobKeeper payments where they fail the basic 30% decline in turnover test.
The advent of the alternative tests is allowing many more businesses to access the JobKeeper payments. For this reason we recommend any entities that do not meet JobKeeper eligibility under the basic test to revisit their turnover projections with the alternative turnover tests in mind.
The alternative tests have been summarised below. Note that a business only needs to satisfy one of these tests to access the JobKeeper payments.
|Business commenced||The entity commenced business prior to 1 March 2020 but after the relevant comparison period last year.|
|Business acquisition, restructure or disposal||There was a business acquisition or disposal that changed the entity’s turnover.|
|Substantial increase in turnover||The entity’s turnover has increased by either:
|Business affected by drought or natural disaster||The natural disaster changed the entity’s turnover.|
|Business has an irregular turnover||The entity had a large and irregular turnover in the last 12 months, and the turnover is not cyclical.|
|Sole trader or small partnership with sickness, injury or leave||This only applies to businesses with no employees whose turnovers were impacted by the sole trader/partner not working for all or part of the period.|
The aforementioned tests work to use averages or normalised figures as the yardstick against which the projected turnovers are assessed in assessing JobKeeper eligibility.
Given businesses who are not registered for JobKeeper by the end of May are unable to claim JobKeeper payments for April and May even if they later determine they were eligible, we recommend that entities consider the application of these alternative tests now.