Strategies and advice for businesses to stay in control through COVID-19 and get ahead of the pack

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COVID-19 Business Continuity – 28th April

I’m here with the COVID-19 business continuity update for Tuesday 28th April.

Many business owners are not across the JobKeeper scheme, when they should be. We’re seeing more and more clients find out that they will be eligible, some sooner than they thought.

Please be actively involved in discussing this with your business mentor because the business support on offer is up to $19,500 per eligible employee.

In today’s update:
1. Changes to JobKeeper deadlines
2. Important clarifications from the ATO

1. Changes to JobKeeper deadlines

There are two key JobKeeper deadlines that have been changed in the last 2 business days:

8th May – Wage top-up payment deadline extended
If you are likely to be eligible for JobKeeper in April, you now have until 8th May to make sure you have topped any wages to the required $1500 (before tax) per fortnight.

The ATO has confirmed that if your wage payments have not met this date, you will not be able to claim JobKeeper for the first two fortnights (30th Mar – 26th April).

This is good news. The extension gives us all more time to understand the updated tests to assess your eligibility for JobKeeper, so you can make any top-up payments with confidence.

31st May – JobKeeper enrolment deadline extended
If you enrol for JobKeeper by 31st May you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.

Again, for Tenfold clients this means that we have more time to take action and update your plans to have a clearer view of when you’ll be eligible for JobKeeper. The ATO has confirmed that you can enrol as soon as you believe you will be eligible.

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2. Important clarifications from the ATO on JobKeeper

The clarification keeps coming in fast from the ATO on important details about JobKeeper. I need to make you aware of these key points that I believe will make a material difference to your business and your plans. I have identified the key point and included the screenshot from the ATO’s website with the detail.

Key point: JobKeeper eligibility is not tied to what caused your turnover to decline

JobKeeper decline not due to COVID-19
The importance of this point is that the focus is on IF your revenue has declined, not WHY. This is one of those signals I mentioned yesterday that points to the government having an “inclusion” objective.
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Key point: JobKeeper participation is locked in for the entirety of the scheme.
This is a really important point, maybe the most important point: once you’re in JobKeeper, you stay in JobKeeper even if your revenue bounces back.
You do not have to re-test or requalify. You are permanently in until the end of the scheme (currently slated as 27th September)

JobKeeper business bounce back
This clarification provides us with the certainty that has been missing to date. Note the clarity at the start of the answer, “No”!

Now that we know about the “lock in”, it can provide the surety to refocus on building your business back up without the concern that JobKeeper payments may end if you do so.

This is why your coaches and I keep running your numbers and revising your COVID-19 plan and financial model to find out when you’ll qualify.
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Key point: You will not lose JobKeeper if your turnover doesn’t decline as much as you predicted

JobKeeper decline less than predicted
What I want to draw your attention to here is that there’s a fair degree of tolerance if your turnover is not as low as you predicted when you self-assessed your eligibility for JobKeeper.

The emphasis is on the expectation that you made a reasonable assessment and that you have records of the calculations you used. Again, it’s why as your coaches we’re so invested in working on your revenue forecasts to ensure that you will legitimately qualify.

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All screenshots are taken directly from the ATO website: https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/In-detail/Employers–frequently-asked-JobKeeper-questions/

Enjoy your evening,

Ash

Ashley Thomson B.Eng(Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Managing Director
Tenfold Business Coaching

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