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Latest update - JobKeeper

Update to JobKeeper rules

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) updated their information to reflect the changes which came into effect on 1 May 2020 with the introduction of Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (NO 2) 2020.

For a summary of changes, see JobKeeper timeline of content updates.

Extension of time to enrol for the JobKeeper scheme

The Australian Commissioner of Taxation has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.

Go to the ATO's summary of JobKeeper key dates for more information.

Keeping the system fair

If you have questions about workplace entitlements and obligations in relation to the JobKeeper Payment scheme, the Fair Work Commission has released guidance on how it can assist with JobKeeper Disputes.

If you're concerned that someone is doing the wrong thing in relation to JobKeeper payment, you can tell the ATO about it. To report illegal or behaviour of concern, see making a tip off.

The JobKeeper Payment is a scheme to support businesses significantly affected by the coronavirus to help keep more Australians in jobs. The JobKeeper Payment is administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Sole traders and some other entities (such as partnerships, trusts or companies) may be entitled to the JobKeeper Payment scheme under the business participation entitlement. However, not-for-profit organisations are not included.

A limit applies of one $1,500 JobKeeper payment per fortnight for one eligible business participant. If your entity also has employees, you may also be able to claim additional JobKeeper payments of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee.

The entity, not the eligible business participant, receives the JobKeeper payment. The exception is a sole trader, who is both the business entity and an eligible business participant, and so receives the JobKeeper payment themselves.

Eligibility


You need to be an eligible entity and have an eligible business participant.

Eligible business participant

Your non-employee individual is an eligible business participant of your entity for the fortnight if they meet all of the following:

  • They are an individual not employed by your entity.
  • They are actively engaged in the business carried on by your entity (at 1 March 2020 and for the fortnight you are claiming).
  • They are one of the following (at 1 March 2020 and for the fortnight you are claiming):
  • As at 1 March 2020, they are both:
  • They are not currently receiving government parental leave pay, dad and partner pay.
  • They are not currently totally incapacitated for work and receiving payments under an Australian workers’ compensation law in respect of your total incapacity to work.
  • They are not an employee (other than a casual employee) of another entity.
  • They have given you a JobKeeper nomination notice, and not given another entity a JobKeeper nomination notice.
  • They have not previously given another entity, or us, a JobKeeper nomination notice.

Your entity cannot have more than one eligible business participant.

Eligible business entities

Your entity is eligible if:

  • on 1 March 2020, it carried on a business in Australia
  • it satisfies the fall in turnover test for the relevant period
  • it satisfied certain conditions as at 12 March 2020, being:
    • it had an ABN on 12 March 2020, and
    • it had lodged, on or before 12 March 2020, at least one or
      • a 2018–19 income tax return showing that it had an amount included in its assessable income in relation to it carrying on a business, or
      • an activity statement or GST return for any tax period that started after 1 July 2018 and ended before 12 March 2020 showing that it made a taxable, GST-free or input-taxed sale

    The ATO have the discretion to give further time, but only in limited circumstances, including if you:

    • did not have a requirement to lodge your 2018-2019 return until after 12 March 2020
    • have deferred your lodgment under an extension of lodgment date we initiated

    Ineligible entities

    An entity is not eligible for the JobKeeper payment for an eligible business participant if:

    • the Major Bank Levy was imposed on the entity or a member of its consolidated group for any quarter before 1 March 2020
    • the entity is a not-for-profit organisation
    • the entity is an Australian government agency (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997)
    • the entity is a local governing body
    • the entity is wholly owned by an Australian government agency or local governing body
    • the entity is a sovereign entity
    • if the entity is a company in liquidation
    • if the entity is an individual who has entered bankruptcy

Timing


The subsidy will start on 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by sole traders and other entities in the first week of May.

The Australian Commissioner of Taxation has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.

How to apply


When you have worked out that your business is an eligible entity and your individual non-employee is an eligible business participant, you need to enrol. Your entity needs to enrol by 31 May 2020 in respect of claims for the JobKeeper fortnights ending in April and May 2020. Your entity will also need to provide details of the eligible business participant to us. Then, within 7 days your entity must inform the eligible business participant that it has done so (unless you're a sole trader).

The eligible business participant needs to complete a nomination notice.

If you're a sole trader, you can nominate yourself as the eligible business participant during the online enrolment process in the Business Portal or in ATO online services using myGov.

If the eligible business participant is a partner, adult beneficiary of a trust, or a shareholder in or director of a company, they need to complete the Eligible business participant nomination notice (excluding sole traders) to record that they have agreed to be nominated as the eligible business participant.

 

What to do if you're receiving the JobSeeker Payment


If you're receiving a Services Australia income support payment, like the JobSeeker Payment, and your employer has notified you that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment, you must report that income to Services Australia.

You may also need to cancel your JobSeeker Payment. If you do not report the income or cancel your JobSeeker Payment, you may incur a debt that you will be required to pay back.

You can withdraw your claim or cancel your payment using your Centrelink online account through myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink app.