This page was last updated on 05 June 2020.
For ATO details about JobKeeper, please see here.
For an explanation about how JobKeeper works, please see here.
The Australian Government has also provided their own list of JobKeeper FAQs here.
How do I apply for Jobkeeper?
You can apply for JobKeeper either through your MyGov Account or through your ATO Business Portal. If you do not already have access to either of these, please see instructions here.
Please note that the application process has multiple parts. These parts might be separated depending when you are applying for JobKeeper. To be safe, go back to the JobKeeper enrollment section, and if you see a button that says “Identify”, then you’ll also need to go through the identify process which is the second part of the application. This process identifies the Eligible Business Participant and potential employees that might be receiving JobKeeper. These persons will need to be confirmed every month in step 3.
Depending when you are applying for JobKeeper, you might also need to complete step 3 as part of the application process.
See also Step-By-Step Guides as a preview of the application process.
When can I apply for JobKeeper?
Applications opened on the 20th April 2020 and have been extended until the 31st May 2020. This was to receive JobKeeper payments for the months of April and May.
After 31st May 2020
If you become eligible for JobKeeper in subsequent months, you will need to apply for JobKeeper before the end of that month. For example, if your turnover decrease by 30% in June, you’ll need to apply for JobKeeper before the end of June. You’ll only be able to receive JobKeeper payments starting from that particular month, and cannot receive JobKeeper payments for prior months.
If you have employees, you also need to satisfy the wage condition in order to receive JobKeeper reimbursements for your employees. Satisfying the wage condition means that you’ve already paid your employees a minimum of $1,500 (before tax) by the relevant fortnight dates here. For example, you might enroll for JobKeeper just before the end of June, and then start topping up your employees’ pays to the minimum $1,500 (before tax) in the next payrun in July. Therefore, you can only start receiving reimbursements for your employees’ JobKeeper payments from the month of July and not June. On the other hand, if your employees’ June wages are already above the $1,500 (before tax) minimum per fortnight, then you can claim JobKeeper reimbursements starting from the month of June.
Are there on-going reporting obligations after I’ve applied for JobKeeper?
Yes. This monthly reporting is known as “Step 3″ or “Declare”. This reporting is done through MyGov or the ATO Business Portal in the same place that you enrolled for JobKeeper. Step 3 should be completed within 14 days of the end of each month otherwise your JobKeeper payments may be delayed.
In step 3, you will need to report your turnover at the end of each month and your projected turnover for the next month.
If you have employees, you also need to report your employees’ continued eligibility and that you’ve actually paid them $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). If you have opted in to the STP payroll system, then your employees’ details should pre-fill in the monthly report. Therefore, please ensure that you process and file your payruns to the ATO from your bookkeeping software at the end of each pay cycle. Further details can be found here.
This monthly reporting will also ask which fortnights each person is eligible for JobKeeper. For example, a person eligible for the entire month of June would select “FN 5 & 6″. The list of fortnight dates can be found here. Please note that it is the payment date of the wages that determines which fortnight they fall into, rather than the last day of the pay cycle.
Note that if you did not pay an employee a minimum of $1,500 (before tax) by the relevant fortnight date, then they will not be eligible for JobKeeper for that particular fortnight (JobKeeper is a reimbursement system, so you cannot be reimbursed if you did not actually pay them). For example, if you enroll for JobKeeper in the middle of June and need to top-up their next pay to meet the minimum, then you might only claim FN 6 (depending on payment dates). However, if their normal pays are already above the minimum, then you could claim JobKeeper for both fortnights as you would have already paid the minimum.
How do I work out if my business is eligible to apply for JobKeeper?
Most businesses will need to show a 30% reduction of income. This can be calculated by comparing either a month or a quarter with the same month or quarter last year. This is called the Basic Test. Examples below
- GST turnover for June 2020 compared with GST turnover for June 2019
- GST turnover for July 2020 compared with GST turnover for July 2019
- (and so on until the month of September 2020)
- GST turnover for July – September 2020 quarter compared with GST turnover for July – September 2019 quarter
Further details about eligibility, and a list of ineligible businesses can be found here.
This spreadsheet can also be used to test for a 30% decrease in turnover.
What if I cannot satisfy the 30% reduction of income with the Basic Test?
The ATO has created a few Alternative Tests for businesses that are unable satisfy the basic tests listed above.
The above spreadsheet includes one of the alternative tests called the Significant Increase in Turnover Test.
What if I’ve made a mistake with JobKeeper?
You’ll need to contact the ATO on 13 28 66 as JobKeeper errors cannot be fixed online.
Can I choose which employees I offer JobKeeper to?
No. The ATO has confirmed their “One In – All In” position on this. If you enroll in the JobKeeper program, then you must offer JobKeeper payments to all eligible employees by way of the JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice.
I am the director/beneficiary of a company or trust, am I eligible for the JobKeeper payments?
Yes, if you are processing your wages through your bookkeeping software, then you will be eligible just like any other employee would be.
If the directors/beneficiaries do not receive wages from the business, then the business can receive JobKeeper payment in respect of ONE director/beneficiary as an “Eligible Business Participant” (EBP) as well as JobKeeper payments for each eligible employee (subject to the business turnover decreasing by 30%). However, if the EBP has full-time or part-time work elsewhere, then that employment takes precedence and they cannot be an EBP for their business.
Note that where a business is receiving JobKeeper in regards to a director/beneficiary as an EBP, this JobKeeper payment does not need to be paid out to a specific director/beneficiary as there may be multiple directors/beneficiaries who are not employees. Instead, the JobKeeper payment in respect of an EBP can be kept within the business to fund the continued running of the business.
I am a sole trader, am I eligible for the JobKeeper payments?
Yes, sole traders may also receive JobKeeper as an “Eligible Business Participant” (EBP) if their income has reduced by 30%. However, if they have full-time or part-time work elsewhere, then that employment takes precedence and they cannot apply for JobKeeper through their own business. However, they may still apply for JobKeeper for any eligible employees (subject to the business turnover decreasing by 30%).
My business is a partnership, are we eligible for the JobKeeper payments?
Partnerships can apply for JobKeeper in respect of ONE partner as the “Eligible Business Participant” (EBP), subject to the business turnover decreasing by 30%. This EBP cannot have full-time or part-time work elsewhere. Partnerships may also apply for JobKeeper for any eligible employees.
Note that when a partnership receives JobKeeper in respect of an EBP, the JobKeeper payment for the EBP does not need to be paid out to a specific partner. Instead it can be kept within the partnership to fund the continued running of the business.
Can an employee receive JobKeeper payments from multiple employers?
No, an employee can only receive JobKeeper payments from one employer. Likewise, they cannot receive JobKeeper through their own business as well as an employer.
Also note that where an employee has full-time (FT) or part-time (PT) employment as well as casual employment or their own business entity, the FT or PT employment takes precedence and the employee will not be eligible for JobKeeper through their casual employment or through their business entity.
Can I receive the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments at the same time?
No, receiving the JobKeeper payments will affect your eligibility for the JobSeeker payments. However, you can still apply for the JobSeeker payments and then change to the JobKeeper payments if or when you become eligible for the JobKeeper payments.
Should I withhold PAYGW from the $1,500 I pay to my employees?
Yes, the $1,500 per fortnight is before tax. You should process this through payroll and withhold PAYGW as per usual.
Do I have to pay $1,500 (before tax) to employees who would not normally receive that much per fortnight?
Yes, you will need to top-up employees’ wages to ensure that they receive $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight if they are part of the JobKeper program. See examples here. Please note that most software providers will have created a “JobKeeper Top-Up” pay item which should be used for the top-up amount to bring their pay up to $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight.
Failure to pay employees, or deliberate misuse of the JobKeeper payments, may result in penalties up to $126,000 and/or imprisonment.
Do I lose my eligibility if my income increases later?
No, you only need to satisfy the eligibility test once. You will still need to report your monthly income, but this will not affect your eligibility.
Can I claim both JobKeeper and Supporting Apprentices & Trainees at the same time?
No. Further information about apprentices and JobKeeper can be found here.