Update to JobKeeper in Australia Aug 2020

See the new rules for Employers, Employees and Casuals.


The changes come in from 28 September 2020


The government has now passed legislation for the $130 billion JobKeeper Payment scheme to support businesses significantly affected by the coronavirus to help keep more Australians in jobs.

Eligible employers will be reimbursed a fixed amount of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee. Employers will need to pay eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment. This will be paid to the employer in arrears each month by the ATO.

The first payments to eligible employers will commence in the first week of May 2020. JobKeeper payments can be made for the period beginning 30 March 2020.

To be eligible for the JobKeeper payment, employers and their employees must meet a range of criteria.

JobKeeper Scheme – How employers access the payment

If your business is affected by the coronavirus, you may be eligible to access the JobKeeper payment to assist you to be able to continue paying your employees.

Employers can choose to participate in the scheme and then nominate the employees they wish claim for. An employer can choose not to participate in the JobKeeper payment.

Eligible employers

Employers will be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all the following apply:

How to determine a fall in turnover

You only need to satisfy this requirement once – you don’t need to retest turnover each month.

To work out your fall in turnover, you can compare either:

Amount of JobKeeper payment

As an employer, you will receive a payment from the ATO of $1,500 per employee per fortnight as long as you and your employees meet the eligibility criteria.

The ATO will pay you for each eligible employee monthly in arrears beginning in May 2020. Payments will be made from the first week of May.

An employer will usually get $3,000 a month per eligible employee for the two fortnightly periods in that month.

Example of amounts paid to employers
Payment date Amount per employee
May $3,000 (for fortnights starting 30 March and 13 April)
June $3,000 (for fortnights starting 27 April and 11 May)
July $3,000 (for fortnights starting 25 May and 8 June)
August $3,000 (for fortnights starting 22 June and 6 July)
September $4,500 (for fortnights starting 20 July, 3 August and 17 August)
October $3,000 (for fortnights starting 31 August and 14 September)

Enrol and apply for the JobKeeper payment

To enrol and apply for the JobKeeper payment follow the steps below.

Enrol for the JobKeeper payment (from 20 April onwards)

You or a registered tax professional can enrol for the JobKeeper payment:

Confirmation of eligible employees you will claim JobKeeper Payment for (available from 4 May 2020 onwards)

You or a registered tax agent can apply for the JobKeeper payment for your eligible employees:

If you use the ATO Business Portal, you will need a myGovID linked to your ABN in relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). You can find out how to set this up at ato.gov.au/mygovid

If you would like us to assist your business to enrol and apply for the JobKeeper Scheme please contact us here.

Your eligible employees

Your employee is eligible under the JobKeeper Payment scheme if they:

You cannot claim for any employees who:

Casual employees are not eligible unless they were employed by you on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months as at 1 March 2020.

Nominating employees

Before you enrol to receive JobKeeper payments, you need to notify each eligible employee that you intend to nominate them as eligible employees under the JobKeeper scheme.

You must tell those employees that you have nominated them as an eligible employee to claim the JobKeeper payment. They must agree to be nominated by you by completing the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and returning it to you for your records.

The nomination form does not need to be provided to the ATO however employers are required to keep a copy of the completed form as part of their record keeping obligations under the law.

If you would like us to assist your business to enrol and apply for the JobKeeper Scheme please contact us here.

 Paying your eligible employees

You need to pay your eligible employees at least the minimum amount of $1,500, even if you re-hire them or they earn less than this per fortnight. You cannot pay your employees less than $1,500 per fortnight and keep the difference. You will not be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if you pay your nominated employee less than $1,500 per fortnight.

How to pay

You need to re-start or continue to pay your eligible employees at least $1,500 a fortnight in line with your existing pay cycle through your existing payroll solution.

When to pay

You should pay your employees for each JobKeeper fortnight you plan to claim for. The first fortnight is from 30 March – 12 April and each JobKeeper fortnight that follows.

For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), the ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by you by the end of April. This means that you can make two fortnightly payments of at least $1,500 per fortnight before the end of April, or a combined payment of at least $3,000 before the end of April.

If you usually pay your employees less frequently than fortnightly, the payment can be allocated between fortnights in a reasonable manner. For example, if you pay your employees on a monthly pay cycle, your employees must have received the monthly equivalent of $1,500 per fortnight.

If your eligible employees change or leave your employment, you need to notify the ATO.

How much to pay

You must pay the minimum $1,500 before tax to each eligible employee per fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment for that fortnight.

If your eligible employees earn less than $1,500 per fortnight before tax, you must pay them at least $1,500 for each fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment. This is a ‘top up’ of their salary or wages and will ensure they remain eligible. You cannot pay your employees less than $1,500 per fortnight and keep the difference. You will not be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if you pay your nominated employee less than $1,500 before tax per fortnight. If your eligible employees earn more than $1,500 per fortnight, you should continue to pay them their regular salary or wages. However, you will only receive $1,500 for each eligible employee. Any amount you pay above $1,500 per fortnight is not subsidised by the JobKeeper payment.

If an employee has been stood down after 1 March 2020, you can start paying them $1,500 per fortnight to qualify for the JobKeeper payment for that employee. If an employee ceased working for you after 1 March 2020, you can re-engage them and pay them at least $1,500 per fortnight. You will only be eligible to claim for the fortnights after you re-engaged your employee.

If you usually pay your employees monthly, the payment can be allocated between fortnights in a reasonable manner. For example, if you pay your employees on a four-week pay cycle, your employees must have received at least $3,000 for every four-week period.

Tax consequences

All JobKeeper payments are assessable income of the business that is eligible to receive the payments. The normal rules for deductibility apply in respect of the amounts your business pays to its employees where those amounts are subsidised by the JobKeeper payment.

The JobKeeper payment is not subject to GST.

Superannuation guarantee

New rules are being introduced by the government with the intention to not require super guarantee to be paid on additional payments that are made to employees as a result of JobKeeper payments. Further updates will be available once legislation or regulations are in place.

What you can’t do

You cannot claim the JobKeeper payment on behalf of employees who were not paid at least $1,500 before tax during each JobKeeper payment period.

You cannot claim the JobKeeper payment in advance. The JobKeeper payment is a reimbursement from the ATO to an employer in arrears and cannot be paid in advance in any circumstances.

If you would like us to assist your business to enrol and apply for the JobKeeper Scheme please contact us here.

At Accorti Accountants + Advisors we specialise in helping clients with complex and challenging issues. We are here to help. We work with clients all over Australia and have offices in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. If you have questions or need assistance: Contact us now

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Eligible Employees
Eligible Employers

The Morrison Government announced an increase to their economic plan to keep Australians in jobs, keep businesses in business and support households and the Australian economy as the world deals with the significant challenges posed by the spread of the coronavirus.

Details of the updated plan are below:

Individuals & Households

Income support for individuals

The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.

Payments to support households

The Government is providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 and the second payment will be made from 13 July 2020. Around half of those that benefit are pensioners. The second payment will not be made to those eligible for the Coronavirus supplement.

The Government is also offering administrative relief for certain tax obligations, including deferring tax payments up to four months. This is similar to relief provided following the bushfires for taxpayers affected by the coronavirus, on a case-by-case basis.

Temporary early release of superannuation

The Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates

The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21. This measure will benefit retirees holding these products by reducing the need to sell investment assets to fund minimum drawdown requirements.

Reducing social security deeming rates

On 12 March, the Government announced a 0.5 percentage point reduction in both the upper and lower social security deeming rates. The Government will now reduce these rates by another 0.25 percentage points.

As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent. The reductions reflect the low interest rate environment and its impact on the income from savings.


Boosting cash flow for employers

The Government is enhancing the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure it announced on 12 March 2020. The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not for-profits (NFPs) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000. These payments will help businesses and NFPs with their cash flow so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff.

Small and medium-sized business entities with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers are eligible.

Under the enhanced scheme, employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages PAYG withholding (up from 50 per cent), with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000. In addition, the minimum payment is being increased from $2,000 to $10,000.

An additional payment is also being introduced in the July – October 2020 period. Eligible entities will receive an additional payment equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments they have received. This means that eligible entities will receive at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000 under both payments.

Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

The Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary and targeted relief from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus health crisis.

The ATO will tailor solutions for owners or directors of business that are currently struggling due to the Coronavirus, including temporary reduction of payments or deferrals, or withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notices and wind-ups.

Increasing the instant asset write-off

The Government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020. In 2017-18 there were more than 360,000 businesses that benefited from the current instant asset write-off, claiming deductions to the value of over $4 billion. This measure will support over 3.5 million businesses (over 99 per cent of businesses) employing more than 9.7 million employees.

Backing business investment

The Government is introducing a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.

Supporting apprentices and trainees

The Government is supporting small business to retain their apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter).

Support will also be provided to the National Apprentice Employment Network, the peak national body representing Group Training Organisations, to co-ordinate the re-employment of displaced apprentices and trainees throughout their network of host employers across Australia.

Support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities

The Government will set aside $1 billion to support regions most significantly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. These funds will be available to assist during the outbreak and the recovery. In addition, the Government is assisting our airline industry by providing relief from a number of taxes and Government charges estimated to total up to $715 million.

At Accorti Accountants +Advisors we specialise in helping client with complex and challenging issues. We can help you weigh up various options to get the best outcome possible and protect your business. We work with clients all over Australia and have offices in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.We work with clients all over Australia and have offices in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Contact us now

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Source: ATO

Coronavirus has caused significant public health concern both in Australia and internationally.  The virus is also impacting business activity.  Australia is particularly vulnerable to the effects given our close trade relationship with China.  This impact on business, particularly disruptions to supply chains, is expected to get worse.

Disruption Business Supply Chains

The first wave of economic disruption hit airports, airlines, travel agencies, casinos, hotels and educational institutions.  Now, as many factories in China remain closed, the virus is having a second wave of economic chaos, disrupting business supply chains and reducing business activity.

Industries Impacted

While all business is likely to feel the effect, the impact is likely to be felt hardest by those with direct exposure in their supply chain to China, particularly:

And the list goes on….

Top 10 Supply Chain Risks

According to Resilience360 by DHL the top 10 risk to supply chains are being caused by:

1. Lockdowns cause labour and supply shortages in factories

City-wide lockdowns and quarantines have triggered labour and supply shortages as Chinese authorities from different jurisdictional levels seek to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Some of the most notable provinces and cities imposing transport restrictions on the movement of residents and vehicles include the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Liaoning as well as the cities of Tangshan (Hebei), Nanjing (Jiangsu), Hangzhou (Zhejiang), Zhengzhou (Henan), and Ningbo (Zhejiang).

2. Regulatory uncertainty slows the restart of factory operations

Production has resumed for companies in most provinces across China as of February 10 following a government-mandated delay to restart normal business operations aimed at mitigating the virus outbreak. However, some jurisdictions, predominantly at the municipal and district level, have imposed different production schedules and requirements for resuming normal operations sometime between February 17 and March 1.

3. Public health requirements impact industrial operations

In anticipation of firms returning to normal operations, some authorities have also issued additional requirements mandating that factories apply for permission to reopen operations or meet specific coronavirus prevention standards. These list of requirements for local companies to obtain permits to resume production include, but are not limited to, (1) setting up a prevention and control protocol; (2) quarantining non-local and/or migrant workers; (3) supplying protective gear for all workers; (4) conducting routine temperature checks and disinfection; and (5) providing protective gear like masks, gloves, temperature guns, disinfectants, etc.

4. Suppliers invoking force majeure clauses on the rise

On top of disruption to production and delays in orders, companies dealing with suppliers in China will be confronted with legal defences like force majeure clauses being invoked for non-performances, shielding such suppliers from legal and financial liability. Force majeure refers to unexpected external circumstances that prevent a party to a contract from meeting their obligations, typically natural disasters. While force majeure clauses rarely mention diseases, they frequently provide relief in the event of unforeseen acts of government, for which the government-mandated shutdowns may qualify.

5. Provincial border checks exacerbate trucking shortage

Overall, trucking availability has been reduced to 40 percent within the Shanghai city area, while capacity is been down to 10 percent from Shanghai to other cities as drivers reject trips to inland provinces to maximize the number of runs per day. No drivers from outside Tianjin were reportedly allowed to enter the city, while only 10 percent of the local drivers were able to offer services. These developments have led to delays and a sharp increase in trucking prices.

6. Closed borders delay movement from and to Vietnam and Hong Kong

As of February 11, cross-border traffic between Vietnam and the Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi remains severely disrupted.

In Hong Kong, authorities have started to quarantine for 14 days all Chinese citizens coming into the territory as of February 8 to drastically reduce the number of travellers into Hong Kong. Cross border truck drivers have so far remained exempted from the measure, and cross-border deliveries continue to be possible, albeit requiring advanced booking. Since January 31,

Russia’s 16 border crossings with China along a 4,000 km border have been closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, likely affecting trade volumes. No reopening date has been announced yet, but Russian authorities indicated that the closure may be extended until March 1.

7. Labour shortage causes congestion at airports and seaports

With limited trucking capacity available, congestion has started to build at air cargo terminals and warehouses. This is due to inbound shipments that have either not been cleared by customs brokers or for which delivery and pick-up services could not be arranged. As a result, cargo operations have slowed down; shipment (including critical medical device shipments) delays and demurrage costs are also starting to materialize.

8. Reduced ocean freight capacity out of China

About 82 trans-Pacific sailings have been cancelled into March, taking out around 198,500 TEU off the market, while carriers have blanked around 54 sailings in total for trade between Asia and Europe, according to Sea-Intelligence Maritime Consulting. According to some shippers, a delay of three to four weeks for containers to arrive at European destinations can be expected.

9. Limited air and rail cargo capacity to increase prices

Similarly, the large number of cancellations of both passenger and freighter flights combined with factory and logistics operations restarting in the coming weeks are expected to cause an air freight capacity shortage that could last until April. In total, more than 25,000 flights have been cancelled per week so far, reducing air freight capacity by approximately 50%. In addition, Emirates Airlines has reportedly cancelled freighters from Guangzhou to Dubai until March 27, while Etihad has cancelled freighters from Shanghai to Mumbai and Chennai until March 30. The expected capacity crunch could lead to an increase of air freight rates by 300-400 percent, according to The Load Star.

10. Ripple effects felt across supply chains overseas

The coronavirus outbreak has also had major implications on industrial production and global supply chains spanning beyond China’s borders. Some companies have also been faced with severe financial stress due to the coronavirus crisis. American medical device maker Valeritas that makes insulin patches filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy citing the coronavirus as having worsened its supply chain problems. Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific similarly asked its suppliers for price reductions after being forced to cut flight capacity by 90 percent to Mainland China over the next two months due to the coronavirus.

You can access the full Resilience360 report here.

Steps to Mitigate the Impact on Your Business

Given the impact that is likely, take steps now to insulate your business from the impact.

Options include:

1. Discuss supply chain issues with your suppliers

Find out what impact they are expecting including delays, shortages and cost increases.  Negotiate new terms to protect your business.

2. Find alternative supply chains

Even if you don’t deal directly with China it is likely your suppliers and contractors rely on China for materials.  Look for alternatives before your competitors start doing the same.

3. Discuss the impact with your customer

Talk to your customers, let them know what your experiencing, hearing and trying to do to mitigate the issue.  The best thing to do is get in front of the issue.  If these issues are impact you, they will be impacting your competitors as well.  Be the one that delivers bad news first and in personal where possible.

4. Understand the impact on your Finances

If you are going to have supply chain issues how will that effect your finances?  Will you be able to deliver on contracts and terms?  Negotiate funding requirements with your bank to help you through the issue.  Do it early rather than when the cash crunch hits.

5. Get legal advice

What risk are you exposed to in your contract terms?  What impact will Force Majeure clauses have on your supply chain and can they be passed on to your customers?  How will you manage the additional legal risk this issue creates?  What do you need to change in your contracts going forward to isolate the issue to current contracts?

Coronavirus has the potential to cause significant and prolonged disruption to business activity across the global.  Australia is particularly vulnerable to the effects given our close trade relationship with China.  It is prudent for all businesses to consider the impacts on their business and plan to mitigate the risk.

At Accorti Accountants +Advisors we specialise in helping clients with complex and challenging issues. We can help you weigh up various options to get the best outcome possible and protect your business.

Accorti Accountants are Business Accountants. We work with clients all over Australia and have offices in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. If you have any questions or need help please contact us now.

#accortiaccountants #coronavirus #Construction #Medical #Professionalservices #Property #Tourism #Advice

A business structure is generally right when it is set-up by an accountant; however, business like life is subject to constant change.  This may mean that your business structure is no longer appropriate for you given the evolution in your business and personal affairs.  This can result in bad outcomes as outlined in our case studies below.

Case Study 1

We were recently approached by a new client that was looking for a new accountant.  He was concerned he was paying too much tax and wanted some advice.  He had approached his former accountants first to get some assistance from them but was advised against a change.  Something didn’t seem right, so he came to us for a second opinion.

The client had started a business 3 years earlier and as it was a new business at the time it was set-up as a sole trader.  However, the business had grown rapidly in both the size and complexity of its operations.  Unfortunately, the former accountant did not take the time to understand the change in circumstances and as such the structure had not been reviewed or changed.

This resulted in the client paying an extra $35,000 in income tax over a 3-year period plus triggered additional liabilities for PAYG instalments.   

This could have been avoided with the establishment of a company for less than $1,000 upfront which would have resulted in a better tax outcome for past and future years as well as improved the client’s risk management by separating the business from their personal affairs.  That tax saving could have been used to grow the business, pay off debt, take a holiday, or any number of other uses better than paying unnecessary tax.

Case Study 2

We also had another new client that had a company which they had used to previously operate a business.  The business was not successful and resulted in a small loss which was trapped in the company.  Prior to becoming a client, they decided to start a second business and buy a substantial investment property.

They decided to:

  1. set-up a new company for the new business; and
  2. buy the investment property in the old company with the losses.

Their logic was that the new business would lose money for the first year and they did not want to pay tax on the rent from the investment property while they got up and running to improve cash flow.  Unfortunately, while they paid no tax on rent for the first year they also lost entitlement to the general discount on capital gains which allows most entities (but not companies) to disregard 50% of the capital gain on the sale of capital assets (i.e. investment property).

This will result in an additional $200,000 of tax to pay at the time of disposal (at its current valuation alone).

In hindsight the new business should have gone into the old company and the investment should have been bought in a trust.  This would have allowed the client to benefit from the general discount and still utilise the losses from the old business.  Again, that tax saving could have been used for any number of other uses that are better than paying unnecessary tax.


The solution in both situations is simple: get good advice before major decisions.

How do you know if it is good advice?  If you don’t understand the advice this is a big red flag.  Also, get input from your other advisors or get a second opinion.

Business and investment structures often have competing short-term and long-term results, and these can be difficult to manage and get right.  In addition, the complexity created when things change (which is inevitable) requires assessment and consideration up-front.  This often involves input from your lawyer or others.  We work with all your advisors to get the right results.  We love helping clients to solve difficult issues and can help you weigh up various options to get the best outcome possible.

At Accorti Accountants +Advisors we are Business Accountants. We work with clients all over Australia and have offices in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. If you have any questions or need help please contact us now.

#accortiaccountants #tax #advice #structures

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