If your business is one of the tens of thousands of businesses to register for the JobKeeper payment early, there’s good news, claims for the payment is now open. There are a few steps involved in claiming, so make sure you have all the relevant documents and supporting information before you start. Firstly, you will need to check whether your business and nominated employees (ie those who you’re claiming the payment on behalf of) meet the eligibility requirements.

To recap, an eligible employer is broadly one that has: carried on a business in Australia on 1 March 2020; employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020; eligible employees are currently employed by the business for the fortnights the claims are for (including those who are stood down or rehired); the business has faced a fall in turnover of 30% for those businesses with an aggregated turnover of $1bn or less (note that businesses with an aggregated turnover of more than $1bn will need to demonstrate a 50% fall in turnover, while ACNC registered charities will only need to demonstrate a 15% fall in turnover).

Note that the turnover calculation is based on GST turnover and applies even if your business is not registered for GST. If you’re running your business as a sole trader, you’ll also be eligible if your business has experienced a downturn according to the eligibility criteria. Remember the JobKeeper payment also applies to business owners that are actively engaged in the business or a director that is actively engaged in the business (including in the form of a company, trust or partnership).

However, the payment is limited to one entitlement for each entity even if there are multiple business owners or participants. Secondly, you’ll need to notify eligible employees that you intend to participate in the JobKeeper scheme. You’ll also be required to send eligible employees an “Employee Nomination Notice” to complete and return to you to confirm that they agree to you being nominated as the employer to receive JobKeeper payments from.

Thirdly, it is important to note that you will need to pay the minimum $1,500 to each JobKeeper eligible employee per fortnight starting from 30 March 2020 (ending 12 April 2020). Alternatively, you can make one combined payment of $3,000 for the first two fortnights paid by the end of April 2020. This means that you’ll need to pay your employees first before the ATO pay your business in the first week of May 2020.

Finally, when you’ve done all of the above, you will need to enrol for the JobKeeper using the Business portal and authenticate with myGovID.

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