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  • Eligible employers

    Employers are eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all of the following apply:

    • On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia, or were either  
      • a not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia, or
      • deductible gift recipient (DGR) endorsed either, as a public fund or for a public fund you operated, under the Overseas Aid Gift Deductibility Scheme (DGR item 9.1.1) or for developed country relief (DGR item 9.1.2) 
    • You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
    • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
    • Your business has faced either a    
      • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
      • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion)
      • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools). 
    • Your business is not in one of the ineligible employer categories.

    Calculating turnover

    The turnover calculation is based on GST turnover. This applies even if an entity is not registered for GST. There are some modifications, including disregarding GST grouping where two or more associated business entities operate as a single GST group.

    You can apply the basic test even if you are not registered for GST.

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    Aggregated turnover

    Your aggregated turnover broadly includes your annual turnover, plus the annual turnover of all the entities that are connected or affiliated with you, subject to specific adjustments (for example, for transactions between you and those other entities). These connected entities or affiliates may be based in Australia or overseas.

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    Ineligible employers

    An employer is not eligible for the JobKeeper payment if:

    • the Major Bank Levy was imposed on the entity or a member of its consolidated group for any quarter before 1 March 2020
    • the entity is an Australian government agency (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997)
    • the entity is a local governing body
    • the entity is wholly owned by an Australian government agency or local governing body
    • the entity is a sovereign entity or an entity owned by a sovereign entity
    • the entity is a company in liquidation
    • the entity is an individual who has entered bankruptcy.

    Sole traders

    Sole traders can be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if their business has experienced a downturn according to the eligibility criteria.

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    Business owners actively engaged in their business

    Other businesses in the form of a company, trust or partnership can also qualify for JobKeeper payments where a business owner (a shareholder, adult beneficiary or partner) is actively engaged in the business, or a director is actively engaged in the business. This is limited to one entitlement for each entity even if there are multiple business owners or participants.

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    Religious institutions

    If you are a religious institution, you may qualify for the JobKeeper payment if you pay a minister of religion, or a full-time member of a religious order, who is not an employee to perform religious activities.

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    How to determine a fall in turnover

    You only need to satisfy this requirement once – you don't need to retest your turnover each month. However, you will be asked each month to tell us your current and projected turnover.

    At the time you enrol in the JobKeeper Payment scheme, you need to confirm that your business in a relevant period has had, or is likely to have, a:

    • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
    • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or
    • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools).

    How to calculate a fall in turnover for the first fortnight starting 30 March 2020

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

    • GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019
    • projected GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019
    • projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2019.

    How you choose to project your fall in turnover is not dependent on whether you report a quarterly or monthly BAS, though you can do that if it is easier. The turnover calculation is based on GST turnover. This applies even if an entity is not registered for GST. There are some modifications, including disregarding GST grouping (where two or more associated business entities operate as a single GST group).

    If you work out that you qualify for JobKeeper payments for the first fortnight because your turnover has declined by the relevant amount, you remain eligible and do not need to keep testing turnover in following months. However, you will have ongoing monthly reporting requirements.

    There are some special rules for universities in calculating fall in turnover:

    • Appropriations under the High Education Support Act 2003 and the Australian Research Council Act 2001 are included in turnover
    • Universities that are Table A providers within the meaning of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 must compare the six-month period starting 1 January 2020 to the six-month period from 1 January 2019.

    The Commissioner of Taxation has also determined some alternative tests that can establish your eligibility for some cases when turnover periods are not appropriately comparable. However, if an entity satisfies the basic test it does not need to consider an alternative test.

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    Entities that are members of a larger group

    Where an entity is part of a larger group, this may affect how they apply the fall in turnover test to determine whether they are eligible. If the larger group has, or estimates they will have, an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion for the income year in which the test period occurs or had an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion for the previous year, the entity will be required to show a 50% decline in turnover to be eligible to receive JobKeeper payments.

    Testing the decline in turnover is done on an individual employer entity basis for the basic test. It only takes into account the turnover of the entity which is the employer, and not other members of a group.

    Modified basic test for group employer entities

    For certain group structures (where you are a member of a GST, consolidated or consolidatable group) there are special rules if an entity’s principal activity is supplying employee labour services to other members of their group.

    If this entity – the employer entity – doesn’t meet the fall in turnover rules in the basic test, they may be able to use a modified fall in turnover test.

    The modified test takes into account the GST turnover of other members (the test members) in the consolidated, consolidatable or GST group when working out the turnover of the employer entity.

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    Not-for-profit organisations

    Not-for-profit entities (including charities) that meet the turnover tests are eligible to enrol for the JobKeeper payment. An ACNC-registered charity, other than a university and school, only needs to show a decline in turnover of 15% or more. There are special rules on calculating turnover for these entities to exclude some funding from the calculation if they elect to – such as Australian government grants. We will provide more information soon to help charities.

    When you have worked out you are an eligible employer

    After you have worked out you are an eligible employer, you then need to check whether your employee or employees are eligible.

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    Last modified: 03 Jun 2020QC 62127