We would like to take this opportunity to update you on the JobKeeper Payment (JKP) Scheme.
Bills passed but limited detail yet
Yesterday, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Bill 2020 was introduced and passed both Houses of Parliament. Unfortunately, it did not contain the finer detail of how the JKP Scheme (‘the Scheme’) will operate.
What it did was set up a framework including giving the Treasurer the power to make Rules, by way of Legislative Instrument, as to how the Scheme will work. These Rules are not currently available.
ATO’s role in the JKP Scheme
Further, as previously announced by Treasury, the Commissioner of Taxation will be given certain discretions relating to the operation of the Scheme, including the ability to provide alternative turnover tests that can be satisfied if the tests already announced by Treasury cannot be met (e.g., that businesses with a turnover below $1 billion must have had or will have at least a 30% reduction in their turnover due to the effect of COVID-19). It is anticipated that the ATO will make this information available once Treasury has released the Rules. We believe this information is imminent and as soon as it is available, we will be working quickly to provide you with further updates.
Are we expecting any major changes?
We believe the information we have been providing you with since the Scheme was first announced by the Government and contained in the factsheets on Treasury’s website will be, on the whole, representative of how the Scheme ends up operating – but as usual the devil will in the detail.
If you believe you may be eligible for the Scheme, make sure you register your interest on the ATO website.
This is not the formal registration but will get you onto the ATO list and ensure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
At this stage neither the formal registration process or documentation has been released – once released registrations will need to be submitted by 26 April 2020 to ensure first payments can be made on or around 1 May 2020.
We will be in touch with further clarification next week and in the meantime, wishing you a safe & happy Easter.
The above is general information only and you should seek advice relevant to your specific circumstances In relation to taxation, legal and human resources matters.