Businesses operating in the local IT channel need to take steps now if they want to be eligible for the first round of the federal government’s JobKeeper payments, which will be paid from the first week of May 2020.
The so-called JobKeeper payments are part of the $130 million third tranche of the federal government’s stimulus designed to limit the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s economy.
The JobKeeper payment, announced in late March, is a $1,500 subsidy per fortnight for each employee, paid directly to eligible businesses for six months. It is expected to subsidise the wages of around 6 million people.
Any company that has had a reduction in revenue of 30 per cent or more, since 1 March 2020 over a minimum one-month period, can apply for the new $1,500 allowance funding.
With the legislation underpinning the JobKeeper payment package passing through Parliament on 8 April, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has now issued a warning to Australian employers that they need to get cracking if they want to benefit from the subsidy.
“At this stage employers should focus on determining their and their employees’ eligibility and desire to participate, and should discuss ongoing work arrangements with their employees,” Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said.
“The ATO website has all the information employers need to know about how to get ready. Alternatively, contact your tax representative for assistance and advice specific to your circumstances.
“We know this payment is vital for the community, and we want every eligible employer to be ready to receive the JobKeeper Payments to help keep Australians in jobs.
“As you would expect we will have systems in place to ensure that the payment is made to the eligible employers and will monitor any claims over the months that attract our attention,” he added.
The program will be administered by the ATO and will require employers to check that they are eligible and then enrol with the ATO to be paid the JobKeeper payments.
If eligible, employers will receive a monthly payment for each eligible employee who was paid by the business during the previous month.
The ATO said that in order to receive JobKeeper payments from the first week of May, employers need to have paid their eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight (before tax) for the period between 30 March and the end of April.
Additionally, the payments for the first two fortnights need to be made by the end of April to receive the JobKeeper payment in the first week of May.
Employers also need to meet all eligibility requirements, as outlined by the ATO, and enrol in the JobKeeper Payment program once the enrolment process is opened on 20 April.