I write today hoping that all clients, contacts and their families are well and coping with the situation at hand that we are facing. From a personal point of view, my family and I are doing well. The boys prefer going to school (which is encouraging) than staying at home.

The staff are working from home and coping with the challenges that they are facing in trying to work with children being at home. Their families are all fine. And this as we must remember is the most important thing.

These are trying times and with a great deal of uncertainty that we are facing and the high amount of information that is being passed through regarding the various Government Stimulus announcements I hope the following explains the latest in a simple way.

Should you have any question please contact me or my staff, we will do our best to assist you in any way we can.

JOBKEEKER PAYMENT

The purpose of this payment is to assist employers to continue to pay their employees. This assistance will help businesses to keep people and ready to re-start when the crisis is over.

For employees, this means that they can keep their job and earn income even if they are on reduced hours.

It should be noted that this payment is a subsidy that the Government is making. I have not been able to confirm this, but these payments are usually taxable to the recipient. As you will be utilising these payments for the payment of wages the net effect will be zero for tax purposes.

The payment will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to six months.

Eligibility

Employers (including non-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:

• their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month)

Employers must elect to participate in the scheme. To apply please use the link address below:

https://www.ato.gov.au/job-keeper-payment/

There is a requirement to provide support demonstrating a downturn in your business. For many this will be by providing a report from your software showing a copy of the profit and loss for the comparative period in which the downturn has occurred. Also you must report the number of eligible employees employed by the business on a monthly basis. This will be verified by the ATO using the Single Touch Payroll.

Eligible employers will receive the payment for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and continues to be engaged by that employer – including full-time, part-time, long-term casuals and stood down employees.

Casual employees eligible for the JobKeeper Payment are those employees who have been with their employer on a regular basis for at least the previous 12 months as at 1 March 2020. To be eligible, an employee must be an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.

Eligible employers who have stood down their employees before the commencement of this scheme will be able to participate. Employees that are re-engaged by a business that was their employer on 1 March 2020 will also be eligible.

Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide monthly updates to the ATO. Employers will need to notify their employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.

Where an employee has been accessing other stimulus support payments, those employees should advise Services Australia of their change in circumstances either online or by phone.

Where employees fit the criteria of being able to receive the JobKeeper Payment they are only allowed to claim this payment from one employer.

Employees that are not Australian citizens must notify their employer of their visa status, to allow their employer to determine if they are an eligible employee.

Self-employed individuals will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment where they have suffered or expect to suffer a 30 per cent decline in turnover relative to a comparable a period a year ago (of at least a month).

Payment process

Eligible employers will be paid $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee. Eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax, and employers are able to top-up the payment.

Where employers participate in the scheme, their employees will receive this payment as follows.

• If an employee ordinarily receives $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, they will continue to receive their regular income according to their prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper Payment will assist their employer to continue operating by subsidising all or part of the income of their employee(s).

 • If an employee ordinarily receives less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, their employer must pay their employee, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

 • If an employee has been stood down, their employer must pay their employee, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

• If an employee was employed on 1 March 2020, subsequently ceased employment with their employer, and then has been re-engaged by the same eligible employer, the employee will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.

Payments will be made to the employer monthly in arrears by the ATO. Please remember the cash flow impact that this may have on your business.

Timing

The subsidy will start on 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by employers in the first week of May. Businesses will be able to register their interest in participating in the Payment from 30 March 2020 on the ATO website. The web address previously provided.

Should you have any questions on the items above please contact me or the staff on 02 9923 2959 or mark@mcaccg.com.au

In the event that the office is forced to be shut down, please contact Mark on 0439 992 838.

By all means please share this with anyone that you know this may be of interest to.