The ATO has released further detail on JobKeeper employer eligibility requirements leading up to the 20 April 2020 enrollment commencement date.

JobKeeper Employer Eligibility

Employers will be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all of the following apply:

  • On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia or were a not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia.
  • You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
  • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
  • Your business has faced a
    • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
    • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or
    • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools).
  • Your business is not in one of the ineligible categories.

You should note that the turnover calculation is based on GST turnover, but there are some modifications, including disregarding GST grouping where two or more associated business entities operate as a single GST group. We will provide further information soon about applying the turnover test.

You will be able to enrol in the JobKeeper scheme from 20 April 2020 using an online form through the ATO Business Portal.  After you enrol, you will later identify your specific eligible employees and submit the information to the ATO.  You must do this by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for April.

If you use the ATO Business Portal, you will need a myGovID linked to your ABN in relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). You can find out how to set this up at ato.gov.au/mygovid

If you have registered with the ATO for an update on the JobKeeper Payment, you will soon receive a notification from the ATO when the online enrolment is available.

If you have not yet registered for information updates, see JobKeeper payment updates.

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Aggregated turnover

Your aggregated turnover broadly includes your annual turnover, plus the annual turnover of all the entities that are connected or affiliated with you, subject to specific adjustments (for example, for transactions between you and those other entities). These connected entities or affiliates may be based in Australia or overseas.

Business owners actively engaged in their business

Other businesses in the form of a company, trust or partnership can also qualify for JobKeeper payments where a business owner (a shareholder, adult beneficiary or partner) is actively engaged in the business, or a director is actively engaged in the business. This is limited to one entitlement for each entity even if there are multiple business owners or participants. We will provide more information soon about the eligibility of these businesses for the JobKeeper payment.

How to determine a fall in turnover for JobKeeper employer eligibility

You only need to satisfy this requirement once – you don’t need to retest turnover each month when it comes to JobKeeper employer eligibility

At the time you enrol in the JobKeeper payment scheme, you need to confirm that your business in a relevant period has had, or is likely to have, a:

  • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
  • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or
  • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools).

The decline in turnover test

Turnover for this purpose is calculated on the same basis as it is for GST purposes.

The decline in turnover test operates by comparing:

  1. the entity’s projected GST turnover for a turnover test period; with
  2. the entity’s current GST turnover for a relevant comparison period.

The turnover test period and relevant comparison period

The turnover test period is:

  • a calendar month that ends after 30 March 2020 and before 1 October 2020 — i.e. from March 2020 to September 2020 (note: March has 31 days so it ends after 30 March 2020); or
  • a quarter that starts on 1 April 2020 or 1 July 2020 — i.e. the June 2020 or September 2020 quarters.

The relevant comparison period is the comparable month or quarter in 2019 that corresponds to the entity’s turnover test period.

For example, a business can compare either:

  • the whole of the month of March 2020 with March 2019; or
  • the June 2020 quarter with the June 2019 quarter.

Test to be satisfied only once

Once an entity satisfies the decline in turnover test and becomes eligible at a time (subject to meeting all of the other eligibility conditions), there is no requirement to retest in later months.

Where an entity does not qualify for the month of March or April 2020, it can become eligible in a later month.

How to calculate a fall in turnover for the first fortnight starting 30 March 2020

To work out your fall in turnover, you can compare either:

  • GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019
  • projected GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019
  • projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2019.

How you choose to project your fall in turnover is not dependent on whether you report a quarterly or monthly BAS, though you can do that if it is easier. The turnover calculation is based on GST turnover, but there are some modifications, including disregarding GST grouping (where two or more associated business entities operate as a single GST group). We will provide more information soon about applying the turnover test.

If you work out that you qualify for the JobKeeper payments for the first fortnight because your turnover has declined by the relevant amount, you remain eligible and do not need to keep testing turnover in following months. However, you will have ongoing monthly reporting requirements. More information will be provided soon.

The Commissioner of Taxation also has the discretion to set out alternative tests that can establish your eligibility when turnover periods are not appropriately comparable (for example, if your business has been in operation less than a year). We will provide more information soon about alternative tests.

Entities that are members of a larger group

Where an entity is part of a larger group this may affect how they apply the decline in turnover test to determine whether they are eligible. If the larger group has, or estimates they will have, an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion for the income year in which the test period occurs or had an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion for the previous year, the entity will be required to show a 50% decline in turnover to be eligible to receive JobKeeper payments.

Testing the decline in turnover is done on an individual employer entity basis. It only takes into account the turnover of the entity which is the employer, and not other members of a group.

See also:

Not-for-profit organisations

Not-for-profit entities (including charities) that meet the turnover tests are eligible to apply for the JobKeeper payment. An ACNC-registered charity, other than universities and schools, only needs to show a decline in turnover of 15% or more. We will provide more information soon to help charities.

When you have worked out you are an eligible employer

After you have worked out you are an eligible employer, you then need to check whether your employee or employees are eligible.

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