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  • Religious institutions

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    How JobKeeper applies to religious institutions

    If you are a religious institution, you can 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.

    In addition to any eligibility to JobKeeper payments you have as an employer, you may also be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment scheme if:

    • you have a non-employee individual who performs activities in pursuit of their vocation as a minister of religion or a full-time member of a religious order and as a member of your religious institution – we refer to this individual as the eligible religious practitioner, and
    • you are an eligible registered religious institution.

    If you meet the requirements, you will be entitled to one $1,500 JobKeeper payment per fortnight for each of your eligible religious practitioners. If you also have employees, you may be able to claim additional JobKeeper payments for those eligible employees.

    See also:

    Work out your eligibility

    You need to be a registered religious institution and have an eligible religious practitioner:

    Eligible religious practitioner

    An individual is an eligible religious practitioner of your entity for the fortnight if they meet all of the following:

    • They are not employed by you.
    • They are a minister of religion or a full-time member of a religious order and undertake activities in pursuit of their vocation as a member of your religious institution (at 1 March 2020 and for the fortnight you are claiming).
    • You remunerate them in one or more of the following ways  
      • a payment for undertaking activities in pursuit of their vocation as a religious practitioner and as a member of your religious institution
      • a provision of a fringe benefit
      • a provision of a benefit that is exempt from fringe benefits tax.
    • As at 1 March 2020, they were both  
      • aged at least 18 (or were 16 or 17, and were independent or not undertaking full-time study)
      • an Australian resident (within the meaning of section 7 of the Social Security Act 1991), or a resident for income tax purposes and the holder of a special category (Subclass 444) visa.
    • They are not currently receiving government parental leave or Dad and Partner Pay.
    • They are not currently totally incapacitated for work and receiving payments under an Australian workers’ compensation law in respect of their total incapacity to work.
    • They are not an employee (other than a casual employee) of another entity.
    • They have given you a JobKeeper nomination notice.
    • They have not previously given another entity, or us, a JobKeeper nomination notice.

    Religious practitioner who is also an employee

    If a religious practitioner is your employee or an employee (other than a casual employee) of another entity, they cannot be an eligible religious practitioner. However, if they are your eligible employee, you can claim JobKeeper payments on their behalf as an eligible employer.

    See also:

    Students

    A student minister of religion or a student at a college conducted solely for training people to become members of religious orders are not religious practitioners for the JobKeeper Payment scheme. Only a minister of religion or a full-time member of a religious order can be a religious practitioner for the JobKeeper Payment scheme.

    See also:

    • TR 2019/3 Fringe benefits tax: benefits provided to religious practitioners - refer to paragraphs 14 and 15 on the expressions a minister of religion and a full-time member of a religious order.
    • Employees for employee information on JobKeeper payment

    Eligible registered religious institution

    You are eligible if:

    • on 12 March 2020 and for the fortnight you are claiming, you are an ACNC-registered charity, registered under the sub-type ‘advancing religion’ (whether or not you are also registered under other sub-types),
    • on 1  March 2020 you satisfy one of the following  
      • you were a non-profit body that pursued your objectives principally in Australia
      • you were a deductible gift recipient (DGR) endorsed, under the Overseas Aid Gift Deductibility Scheme (DGR item 9.1.1) or for developed country relief (DGR item 9.1.2), either as a public fund or for a public fund you operated.
    • you satisfied the fall in turnover test for the relevant period (you will generally meet this test if your turnover for a period covering a JobKeeper fortnight is at least 15% less than your turnover for that same period in 2019) – see Applying-the-turnover-test.

    Enrol for the JobKeeper payment

    When you have worked out that you are an eligible registered religious institution and your individual non-employee is an eligible religious practitioner, you need to enrol and then identify and maintain your eligible religious practitioners:

    Before you enrol

    Check you meet the eligibility requirements, including the turnover test – see Eligible registered religious institution. The turnover calculation is based on GST turnover. This applies even if you are not registered for GST.

    Check your religious practitioners meet the eligibility requirements and for which JobKeeper fortnights – see Eligible religious practitioner. You must remunerate your eligible religious practitioners in each JobKeeper pay period to claim the JobKeeper payment for that period.

    If you have employees, check they meet the employee eligibility requirements and continue to pay your eligible employees at least $1,500 per JobKeeper fortnight. See Your eligible employees.

    Send the:

    Make sure they complete and return them to you as soon as possible if you plan to claim JobKeeper payments for April 2020.

    Keep them on file and provide a copy to your registered tax or BAS agent if you are using one.

    Seek advice from your registered tax or BAS agent if you need help. Your registered tax or BAS agent can enrol, identify and declare for JobKeeper on your behalf using Online service for agents.

    If you find it difficult to interact with us online and don't use a registered tax or BAS agent, you can call us for assistance.

    Step 1: Enrol and nominate for the JobKeeper payment

    You or your registered tax or BAS agent can enrol for the JobKeeper payment.

    Log in to the Business Portal using myGovID.

    Select Manage employees then the link for the JobKeeper payment.

    Fill in the JobKeeper enrolment form and provide your:

    • eligibility information
    • expected number of eligible employees – include your non-employee eligible religious practitioners in this number
    • contact and bank details.

    Notify your eligible religious practitioners and eligible employees you have nominated them.

    To ensure you receive your JobKeeper payments as early possible, enrol as soon as possible. However, enrolments are open till the end of May for claims for the JobKeeper fortnights ending in April and May 2020.

    Step 2: Identify and maintain your eligible employees (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners)

    You, or your registered tax or BAS agent, need to identify each eligible employee (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioner) that you will claim JobKeeper payment for and maintain their details each month. 

    You can identify your eligible employees (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners) in one of the following ways:

    STP enabled payroll software updated with JobKeeper functionality

    You can identify your eligible employees (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners) directly into your STP enabled payroll software if it is updated with JobKeeper functionality.

    Submit the confirmation of your eligible employees (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners) online and wait for the confirmation screen.

    STP enabled payroll software that is not updated with JobKeeper functionality

    You can identify your eligible employees (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners) in the Business Portal if your STP payroll software is not updated with JobKeeper functionality.

    If you have 200 employees or less, (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners) log in to the Business Portal and select employee details that are prefilled from your STP pay reports.

    If you have more than 200 employees (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners), you can either

    You then provide your report back to us by uploading through the Business Portal Transfer file function.

    Submit the confirmation of your eligible employees (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners) online and wait for the confirmation screen.

    No STP enabled payroll software

    If you don't have STP enabled payroll software, you can use the Business Portal. If you have:

    • 40 employees or less (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners), manually enter your eligible religious practitioners’ or eligible employees’ details
    • more than 40 employees (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners), you can either  
      • create your own JobKeeper employee report using the JobKeeper Payment Guide sample payload files – Blank file (CSV, 28KB) and Example file (CSV, 71KB) – and provide it back to us by uploading through the Business Portal Transfer file function
      • consider moving to an STP enabled payroll solution.

    Submit the confirmation of your eligible employees (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners) online and wait for the confirmation screen.

    Step 3: Make a monthly declaration

    Each month, you must reconfirm your reported eligible employees (including your reported non-employee eligible religious practitioners) through the Business Portal or your registered tax or BAS agent.

    If your eligible employees (including your non-employee eligible religious practitioners) change or leave, you will need to notify us through this monthly declaration.

    You must also provide information as to your current and projected GST turnover. This is not a retest of your eligibility, but rather an indication of how you are progressing under the JobKeeper Payment scheme.

    If you’ve enrolled for the JobKeeper Payment and identified your eligible employees, you need to make a business monthly declaration to the ATO. You will be able to do this from the 1st to the 14th day of each month, to receive reimbursements for the payments you have made to your employees in the previous month.

    For example, the business monthly declaration for reimbursement of JobKeeper payments for the month of May needs to be completed by 14 June.

      Last modified: 27 May 2020QC 62541