Most businesses have now determined their eligibility for the JobKeeper payment, but with the scheme about to commence, the questions are turning to what steps are next to administer the claim.
The ATO has clarified the process to claim for eligible businesses. The steps include:
• Register your interest and subscribe for JobKeeper payment updates through the ATO website.
• Continue to pay eligible employees at least $1,500 each per fortnight (the first JobKeeper fortnight is from 30 March to 12 April), or make a single combined payment of $3,000 by the end of the month.
• Notify eligible employees of your intention to claim JobKeeper payments and confirm that they are not also claiming the payment through another employer.
• Provide nominated employees with the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to complete before the end of April if you intend to claim JobKeeper payment for April.
• Enrol for the JobKeeper payment on or after 20 April 2020 through the ATO’s Business Portal.
• Fill out the online form with your bank details and entitlement claims based on business participation, e.g. sole traders.
• State number of employees who will be eligible for the first two JobKeeper fortnights (30 March -12 April and 13 April – 26 April).
Despite providing undeniable benefits, the JobKeeper scheme also presents risk. Cash flow risks can occur because businesses must ensure all eligible employees are paid a minimum $1,500 per fortnight to all nominated employees. To receive the first payment in May 2020, employees must have been paid the minimum from 30 March 2020. In addition, employers who apply for the scheme but fail to pay their eligible employees may face penalties up to $126,000 for individual employers, or $630,000 for corporations as a breach of the Fair Work Act.
The ATO is also closely monitoring businesses seeking to profit from the scheme. Remedies that are available include clawing back funds (with interest) which it deems to be improperly paid. They will also require monthly reports of current and projected sales as part of the compliance process with the JobKeeper scheme.
For more information about JobKeeper chat with your LT accountant.