While the JobKeeper extension kicked in late last month, the ATO has allowed employers until 31 October to meet the wage condition for all employees.
New JobKeeper entrants will need to go one further by enrolling and submitting their “Check decline in turnover” online form to the ATO by 31 October.
On the other hand, entities who were claiming JobKeeper before 28 September will have until 14 November to check that their business has satisfied the actual decline in turnover and complete their monthly business declaration.
The Institute of Public Accountants general manager of technical policy Tony Greco believes businesses looking to enrol for the first time, particularly Victorian businesses, may have lost sight of the 31 October deadline.
“For those new entrants applying for the first time, this week is a critical week; they have to enrol, meet the decline in turnover test, and meet the wage condition by 31 October,” Mr Greco told Accountants Daily.
“If you are already on JobKeeper 1, you’ve pretty much got until 14 November on the basis that you keep on paying your employees.”
Emphasis on decline in turnover test
The ATO has since announced its compliance focus areas for the JobKeeper extension, with close attention to be given to the actual decline in turnover test.
Mr Greco believes businesses have reason to be cautious, compared with the first round of JobKeeper which relied on projected turnover figures.
“We know there’s no wiggle room this time. JobKeeper 2.0 is based on the actual decline in turnover and you don’t want to get that number wrong,” Mr Greco said.
“If the employer is banking on that reimbursement then you’ve got to make sure there’s none of this projection or wiggle room of falling short; it has to be a real number based on the definition of current GST turnover.
“For some entities, that is easy; for other entities, not so much because of adjustments, but I think everyone’s going to be a lot more cautious bedding down that number.”
While 3.6 million employees were being supported by JobKeeper by the end of September, the Treasury believes the figure will fall to 2.24 million employees by the December quarter, and drop further to 1.75 million employees for the March 2021 quarter.
It also estimates that 60 per cent of employees on JobKeeper will come from Victoria who, until Wednesday, had endured four months of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.