This information is relevant to you if your business receives PSI and obtains work through an agency (for example, a labour hire firm, group training organisation or employment agency).
If you are contracting through an agency, where the agency provides your services to a client, the agency will ultimately be responsible for the payment for your services.
There are many factors you need to consider when working out if the PSI rules apply. Obtaining your contracts through an agency may prevent you from passing some of the personal services business (PSB) tests.
PSI does not affect you if you are an employee receiving only salaries and wages. However, if you are operating through an entity, such as a company, partnership or trust, and are an employee of that entity, then the PSI rules may still apply.
To pass the results test, you need to meet all of the following conditions for 75% of your PSI for the income year:
- You are paid to produce a specific result.
- You are required to provide the equipment or tools needed to produce the result.
- You are required to fix mistakes at your own expense.
If you operate through a company, partnership or trust and you have more than one individual generating PSI, you need to work out whether you pass the results test for each individual. It is possible for one individual to conduct a PSB but not another.
If you obtain work through an agency, you most likely won't pass the results test. This is because you are generally hired by an agency to provide your services on an ongoing basis for an hourly or daily rate, not to produce a specific result. If you earn more than 25% of your PSI in this way, you will not pass the results test.
Example 1: Erica – one agency, 3 end users
Erica's company, Erica's Consulting Pty Ltd, contracts with Agency 1 to deliver Erica's services. Erica is required to perform work for, and at the direction of, the agency's clients. Agency 1 has 3 contracts that Erica works on. Erica's company receives 100% of its income from Agency 1.
Income flow – Example 1End of example
Example 2: Alan – 2 agencies, one end user
Alan's company, Alan's Architectural Services Pty Ltd, contracts with 2 agencies, Agency 1 and Agency 2, to deliver Alan's services. Under both contracts, Alan is required to perform work for, and at the direction of, the agencies' clients. Agency 1 and Agency 2 provide Alan's services to the same client, Big Corp. Alan's company receives 50% of its income from Agency 1 and 50% from Agency 2.
Income flow – Example 2End of example
Example 3: Simon – 2 agencies, 2 end users
Simon's company, Simon's Trade Services Pty Ltd, contracts with Agency 1 and Agency 2 to deliver Simon's services. Under both contracts, Simon is required to perform work for, and at the direction of, the agencies' clients. Each agency has a different client. Simon's company receives 50% of its income from Agency 1 and 50% from Agency 2.
Income flow – Example 3End of example
In these examples, Erica's, Alan's and Simon's companies are not engaged by the end users. Their companies are contracted by the agencies to provide services to the end users. They do not contract with the agencies to complete a specific result or outcome for them. They are contracted by the agencies to provide labour on an ongoing basis in accordance with direction from the agencies' clients or end users.
This means that the companies are not being paid to produce a specific result. As 100% of their PSI is earnt through these agency contracts, these companies don't pass the results test in relation to Erica, Alan or Simon. The PSI rules will apply unless they pass one of the other PSB tests.
To meet the 80% rule, you need to work out the amount of PSI that comes from each client (including the client's associates) in an income year.
If you obtain work through an agency, the source of the PSI you receive is the agency, not the end clients.
If you obtain work through one agency only (even if you work for multiple clients of that agency), you will not meet the 80% rule. You cannot self-assess for any of the other tests. If you obtain work through more than one agency, you need to work out what percentage of PSI comes from each agency.
If you operate through a company, partnership or trust and you have more than one individual generating PSI, the 80% rule applies to each individual. You need to look at the amount of PSI that you receive for each individual and how much of that amount comes from one client (including associates of the client).
Example 1: Erica – one agency
Erica's Consulting Pty Ltd provides consultancy services performed by Erica. Erica's Consulting Pty Ltd receives 100% of its PSI from Agency 1.
Since the company receives more than 80% of its PSI from one client, the company cannot self-assess using the unrelated clients, employment, or business premises test. The PSI rules apply unless the company has a PSB determination for the relevant income year.End of example
Example 2: Alan – more than one agency
Alan is an architect and provides his services through a company called Alan's Architectural Services Pty Ltd. The company receives 50% of its PSI from Agency 1 and 50% from Agency 2.
Since less than 80% of its PSI comes from one source, the company can self-assess using the unrelated clients, employment or business premises test.End of example
To pass the unrelated clients test, your income must be produced from 2 or more clients who are not related or connected with each other. The work must be obtained by making offers to the public or a section of the public.
If your business obtains work by registering with an agency, it is not making offers to the public under the unrelated clients test.
Making offers to the public can include:
- advertising in a newspaper, industry magazine, or business directory
- maintaining a website
- public tender.