The JobKeeper scheme has been extended from the former date of 27 September 2020 to 28 March 2021, and there will be some key changes to its eligibility rules and payment system.

First, the extension will be split into two periods to be tested separately for an actual decline in turnover:

  • Extension 1: from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021
  • Extension 2: from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021

The payment rates will change

The rate of the JobKeeper payment in each extension period will depend on the number of hours:

  • an eligible employee works, or
  • an eligible business participant is actively engaged in the business.

It will be split into two rates.

Tier 1 (the higher rate): Tier 2 (the lower rate):
  • eligible employees who worked for 80 hours or more in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and
  • eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 80 hours or more in February and provide a declaration to that effect.
  • any other eligible employees and eligible business participants.

Both Tier 1 and Tier 2 payment rates will be reduced and different for two extension periods:

Tier 1 rate Tier 2 rate
Extension 1: from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 $1,200 per fortnight $750 per fortnight
Extension 2: from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 $1,000 per fortnight $650 per fortnight

The actual decline in turnover test

From 28 September business will need to apply a new actual decline in turnover test in addition to the existing decline in turnover test.

The new ‘actual decline in turnover test’

Extension 1: from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 Actual GST turnover for the December 2020 quarter compared to Actual GST turnover for the December 2019 quarter
Extension 2: from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 Actual GST turnover for the September 2020 quarter compared to Actual GST turnover for the September 2019 quarter

It should be noted that you also still need to have satisfied the original decline in turnover test. However, if you:

  • were entitled to receive JobKeeper for fortnights before 28 September, you have already satisfied the original decline in turnover test
  • are enrolling in JobKeeper for the first time from 28 September 2020, if you satisfy the actual decline in turnover test, you will also satisfy the original decline in turnover test

You can be eligible for JobKeeper extension 2 even if you were not eligible for JobKeeper extension 1.

 


Disclaimer:
Please note that this article is intended to be a general guide only, and should not be seen to constitute legal or tax advice. Where necessary, you should seek a second professional opinion for any legal or tax issues raised in your personal or business tax affairs.

Emma Zhao

Emma Zhao

Chartered Accountant | Registered Tax Agent | SMSF Speacialist™ emma@sencilloaccounts.com.au