ATO extends timing for payment of JobKeeper wages

On 27 April 2020, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) updated its information on the JobKeeper program and in particular, the timing at which a business is required to have paid its minimum JobKeeper wages for the month of April in order to claim JobKeeper payments for the month.

The ATO has now extended out the date by which businesses need to pay wages to eligible employees which have been nominated under the JobKeeper program from 30 April 2020 to 8 May 2020. This will give businesses more time to assess eligibility for enrolment in the JobKeeper program for the month of April 2020 (i.e. based on April turnover) before paying the wages. The change should also shorten the time gap between when the businesses are required to have paid their wages for the month of April 2020 and when the business will receive JobKeeper payments from the Government.

It is now timely to provide a reminder of all the key dates for businesses wanting to apply for JobKeeper payments from the commencement of the program on 30 March 2020:

  1. Enrolment for the JobKeeper program through the business portal needs to be done by 30 April. While the ATO recently advised that they would accept enrolments up until 31 May 2020, delaying enrolment beyond 30 April 2020 could delay the timing of when JobKeeper payments are paid by the Government.
  2. Registration of employees participating in the JobKeeper program through the business portal needs to be done from 4 May 2020. If the taxpayer is registering employees using Single Touch Payroll software, this can be done immediately.
  3. Payment of wages to each employee of at least $1,500 for each JobKeeper fortnight within April (effectively $3,000) needs to be made by 8 May 2020.
  4. Monthly reporting to the ATO via the business portal and which needs to be completed before JobKeeper payments are made each month by the Government can be done for the month of April from 4 May 2020.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your client service contact at Banks Group.

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