Once again the ATO was busy late Friday making further announcements regarding the JobKeeper scheme. The most welcomed was that application deadline to enrol for JobKeeper has been extended until the end of May. Although eligible businesses will need to ensure they have paid eligible employees the required $1,500 fortnightly payments for April by the end of April, they have until the end of May to enrol and apply for the JobKeeper payments to receive backdated payments starting fro 30 March.
With the rapid changes occurring as a result of COVID-19, it is easy to forget many Victorians and their businesses have already suffered significant heartache caused by the massive bushfires. Just like the measures that are being released for COVID-19 impacted businesses, the Victorian Government has put in place and is now accepting applications for small businesses impacted by the bushfires and eligible businesses can receive grants up to $10,000.
As promised the ATO continues to release further guidance on JobKeeper criteria and today have released further guidance for businesses who don’t meet the reduction in turnover test but hope to be able to apply to the Commissioner to apply the alternate test.
The ATO continues to provide regular updates with further information on the different COVID-19 relief measures. The first relates to the small business tax cash flow boost that is related to the PAYG withholding declared on the March 2020 BAS. An important part of the eligibility criteria is that the business has lodged prior to 12 March 2020 their 2019 tax return or a BAS for the 2019 year. This caused alarm amongst several businesses who had not met the criteria as they lodged their BAS annually and therefore they were not due to be lodged until mid-May 2020. The ATO has clarified that businesses where the lodgement has not been met due to lodgement deferrals will still be eligible. However such businesses must either wait to receive the payment until they lodge their BAS or can supply supporting documentation to the ATO to prove their eligibility.
Last year the ATO sent a panic amongst SMSF trustees when it sent out a poorly drafted letter warning trustees of SMSFs with most or all of its funds in one asset class that they should consider their investment strategy.
The ATO has released further guidance over the weekend regarding the application process for the JobKeeper payments. These step by step guides show the process involved with applying for the payment and the information required to be provided. There are three guides which cover sole traders, business who report through STP and business who don’t report through STP. The link to these guides is provided below and it is recommended businesses read through these applicable guides so they can make their applications as soon as possible.