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  • Tax and BAS agents

    As tax and BAS agents you play an important role in helping businesses affected by COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

    A legislative instrumentExternal Link registered on 16 April 2020 now allows registered BAS agents to provide services to support the JobKeeper Payment scheme.

    Your clients may be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment to help them continue to pay their employees. Eligible employers can choose to participate in the scheme and nominate their eligible employees. It's not compulsory for employers to participate.

    This key information will enable you to manage JobKeeper payments on your clients' behalf.

    How to:

    See also:

    Our JobKeeper guides provide a practical 'step by step' summary to help businesses according to their circumstances, the number of their employees and whether they use Single Touch Payroll (STP) or other reporting arrangements.

    Work out if your client is eligible

    Your client will be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if:

    • on 1 March 2020, they
      • carried out a business in Australia, or
      • were a not-for-profit organisation that operated in Australia was 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.
    • they employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020
    • their eligible employees (including those who were stood down and re-hired) are currently employed by their business for the fortnights they claim for and their business has faced either a    
      • 30% fall in turnover (if their aggregated turnover is $1 billion or less)
      • 50% fall in turnover (if their aggregated turnover is over $1 billion)
      • 15% fall in turnover including donations and gifts (if they are an ACNC-registered charity and not a university or school)
    • they pay their eligible employees at least $1,500 (before tax) for the fortnights they claim for
    • they (or you on their behalf) successfully enrol for JobKeeper payments.

    Your client can't enrol 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 ITAA 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 and a liquidator or provisional liquidator has been appointed
    • the entity is an individual and a trustee in bankruptcy has been appointed.

    Sole traders and other business entities (for example, a partnership, trust or company) are also entitled to the JobKeeper payment if they meet the eligibility criteria for these types of businesses.

    Identify your client’s eligible employees

    Your client is eligible for the JobKeeper payment for employees who:

    • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down and re-hired)
    • are either    
      • permanent full-time or part-time employees of your client (or another entity in your client’s wholly owned group) who were employees at 1 March 2020
      • casually employed by your client (or another entity in your client’s wholly owned group) on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months at 1 March 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer
    • were 18 years of age or older on 1 March 2020 (if they were 16 or 17 they can also qualify for fortnights before 11 May 2020, and continue to qualify after that if they are independent or not undertaking full time study).
    • were an Australian resident at 1 March 2020 within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991, which requires they live in Australia, and are either an Australian citizen, or hold a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category Visa
      • more information about these requirements can be found on the Services Australia website under residence descriptionsExternal Link
      • the employee can also be an Australian tax resident who holds a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa
    • did not receive any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight
      • government parental leave or Dad and Partner pay
      • a payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work
    • haven't agreed with any other employer to be nominated as an eligible employee for the JobKeeper payment
    • complete the JobKeeper employee nomination notice.

    Ensure your client pays their eligible employees correctly

    The JobKeeper Payment scheme is designed to reimburse employers that pay all eligible employees the minimum of $1500 per fortnight (before tax). Employers must pay all eligible employees and can't pick and choose between their eligible employees.

    Your client should pay their eligible employees in line with their existing pay amounts and pay cycle, and meet these requirements:

    • pay the minimum $1,500 (before tax) to each eligible employee each fortnight (starting with the fortnight 30 March – 12 April) to claim the JobKeeper payment for that fortnight
    • continue to pay employees they are claiming for either
      • every subsequent fortnight until 27 September 2020 or
      • until their employees stop being eligible or your client opts out
    • for the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April and 13 – 26 April), we'll accept the minimum $1,500 payment (before tax) has been paid for each fortnight even if it's been paid late, provided it's paid by 8 May. This means they can make two fortnightly payments of at least $1,500 per fortnight before 8 May, or a combined payment of at least $3,000 before 8 May
    • even if your client's eligible employees earn less than $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight, your client must pay them $1,500 per fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment. This 'top up' of their salary or wages will ensure they remain eligible
    • your client can't pay their employees less than $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight and keep the difference
    • your client won't be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if they pay their nominated employee less than $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight
    • if their eligible employees earn more than $1,500 per fortnight, they will only receive $1,500 for each eligible employee and should pay any additional balance themselves
    • if an employee has been stood down after 1 March, and your client re-engages them, they must pay that eligible employee at least $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight. They can only claim for the fortnights after they've re-engaged their employee within the pay period
    • if an employee was employed on 1 March 2020, subsequently ceased employment with their employer, and has since been re-engaged by them, the employee must receive, at a minimum, $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight
    • your client can't claim reimbursement for the JobKeeper payment for employees who were not paid the full amount during each JobKeeper payment period
    • if your client's ordinary arrangement is to pay their employees less frequently than fortnightly, the payment can be allocated between fortnights in a reasonable manner, e.g. if an employer’s ordinary arrangement is to pay an employee every four weeks, it will be reasonable for the employee to be paid at least $3,000 for every four-week period
    • the JobKeeper payment is a reimbursement from the ATO to your client and can't be paid in advance.

    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 a business pays to its employees where those amounts are subsidised by the JobKeeper payment.

    The JobKeeper payment is not subject to GST.

    The government will introduce rules that super guarantee won't be required for additional payments made to employees as a result of JobKeeper payments. We'll update this information when this legislation is in place.

    Help your client to prepare

    • Check your client meets the eligibility requirements, including the turnover test. The turnover calculation is based on GST turnover. This applies even if an entity is not registered for GST.
    • If your client is a director or a shareholder of a company, a partner in a partnership, or an adult beneficiary of a trust, consider whether they will nominate as an eligible business participant and check they meet the eligibility requirements.
    • Download the JobKeeper eligible business participant nomination notice (excluding sole trader) form and ensure your client's eligible business participant has completed the nomination notice and returned it to them. They do not need to send this form to us but must keep it for their records.
    • If they have employees, check they meet the employee eligibility requirements.
    • Your client can re-hire or re-engage employees they let go or stood down and pay them if they want to claim the JobKeeper payment for them.
    • Ensure they continue to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight (the first JobKeeper fortnight was the period from 30 March to 12 April).
    • Ask them to notify their eligible employees that they intend to claim the JobKeeper payment on their behalf and check the employees aren’t claiming this payment through another employer or have nominated through another business.
    • Send the JobKeeper employee nomination notice or other nomination notices to your client for their nominated employees to complete and return to them before they claim the JobKeeper payment for the individual employee. The employer should keep the notice on file and may provide a copy to you.
    • They (or you) can create their own employee nomination notice if it is not practical to have each employee complete and return the ATO version to you. This will allow you to use your own portal or communication channel to obtain this information.
    • Each eligible employee must agree to be nominated by your client. They do this by completing the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and returning it to their employer for your records. They should do this before your client claims the payment for that employee. Make sure they keep the employee nomination notice on file.

    Step 1: Enrol on behalf of your client

    • Enrol for JobKeeper on behalf of your client through Online services for agents.
    • You only need to complete this step once.
    • Once you have logged in to Online services for agents
      • to identify your client, select the 'Business' drop down menu, then select 'JobKeeper enrol'.
    • To enrol, you will need to confirm your client's:
      • business has experienced a fall in turnover
      • expected number of eligible employees (if they have them)
      • eligible business participant, if they are enrolling one
      • bank and contact details for receiving JobKeeper payments.
    • Submit the enrolment on your client's behalf through Online services for agents.
    • Advise your client that they must satisfy the notification requirements set out at eligible employees.

    To ensure your clients receive JobKeeper payments as early possible, they should enrol now. However, enrolments are open until 31 May if you or your clients need more time.

    Detailed information on how to identify and maintain employees is available in our JobKeeper guides for employers.

    Step 2: Identify and maintain eligible employees on behalf of your client

    You can identify each of your client's eligible employees that they will claim the JobKeeper Payment for, and maintain their details each month.

    You will only need to identify your client's eligible employees and eligible business participant once. To determine eligible employees, two tests must be satisfied – see Employee test requirements for more information.

    If your client has an eligible business participant, remember not to include them as an employee.

    You or your client can identify their employees:

    • directly in their payroll software which will update the ATO through their STP enabled solution
    • log into ATO Online services for agents and select employee details that are prefilled from your clients STP pay reports if you report payroll information through an STP enabled payroll
    • log into ATO Online services for agents and manually enter your client's employee details online if they do not use an STP enabled solution
    • you can create a report for your client using the JobKeeper Payment Guide sample payload files – Blank file (CSV, 285KB) and Example file (CSV, 710KB) – that you can populate with your client's employee details and provide back to the ATO through the ATO's secure bulk data exchange
    • submit the confirmation of your client's eligible employees through Online services for agents and wait for the confirmation screen.

    Each of these scenarios are explained in detail in our JobKeeper how to guides.

    Step 3: Make a business monthly declaration

    Each month you must reconfirm your client's reported eligible employees through Online services for agents.

    You must provide information as to your client's current and projected turnover. This is not a retest of your client's eligibility, but rather an indication of how your client's business is progressing under the JobKeeper Payment scheme.

    If your client's eligible employees change or leave their employment, you or your client will need to notify us through this monthly declaration.

    To make your client's business declaration each month:

    • You will need to log into Online services for agents.
    • Provide us with your clients business' current and projected GST turnover.
    • Reconfirm your client's eligible employees and their details.
    • If your client's eligible employees change or leave their employment, you will need to notify us through the business monthly declaration report.

    What your clients need to do for their employees

    From 1 May 2020 with the introduction of Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (NO 2) 2020 there is an obligation that within seven days of enrolling to receive JobKeeper payments, your client must provide an Employee nomination notice to each of their employees. If they had already enrolled on or before 1 May 2020, they need to satisfy this requirement by 8 May 2020. Find out about this at Employers.

    If their employees have multiple employers, they can usually choose which employer they want to nominate through. However, if their employees are long-term casuals and have other permanent employment, they cannot nominate their casual employer. They cannot be nominated for the JobKeeper payment by more than one employer.

    If an employee is receiving – or in the process of applying for – a Services Australia income support payment like JobSeeker payment, they should contact Services AustraliaExternal Link and let them know that their employer has applied for the payment.

    The ATO and Services Australia are working together to identify instances of incorrect eligibility for JobKeeper versus JobSeeker. If your employee does not report the income or cancels their JobSeeker payment, they may incur a debt that they will be required to pay back.

    Find out about:

    Last modified: 11 May 2020QC 62139