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    JobKeeper Payment – Support for Self-Employed


    In brief:  A common worry in relation to small businesses has been whether business owners themselves would qualify for the JobKeeper Payment of $1,500 per fortnight if they are not paid salary or wages. Of course, a significant number of small business owners are in that position – they receive income as a partner or by way of trust distributions or dividends, rather than as salary or wages. The eligibility of those business owners for the JobKeeper Payment was clarified over the weekend.

    More:  According to the updated Treasury Fact Sheet:
    “Businesses without employees will be eligible to receive one JobKeeper Payment, and businesses with employees can receive one payment in addition to the payments for their eligible employees. This means that:
    • where the business operates through a sole trader structure – one owner can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment;
    • where the business operates through a partnership – one partner can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment;
    • where the business operates through a company – one director can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment;
    • where the business has shareholders who provide labour to the company and receive dividends in lieu of wages – one such shareholder can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment; and
    • where the business operates through a trust – one individual beneficiary (that is, not a corporate beneficiary) can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment.”

    It will still be necessary for relevant businesses to satisfy the other necessary criteria to qualify for the JobKeeper Payment, including the requisite fall in turnover of at least 30%. And it seems that the above rules will not apply in relation to the Cash Flow Boost payments – eligibility for those will still depend on payments that are subject to the PAYG Withholding regime, whether payments to business owners or others. Businesses potentially qualifying for the JobKeeper Payment should register on the ATO website.

    The Government intends to legislate the JobKeeper Payment this week, but no Bill is publicly available at the time of writing. The updated Fact Sheet from Treasury is available at this website (copy and paste): https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/Fact_sheet-Support_for_sole_traders.pdf



    06 Apr 2020

    Topic: Income tax/Other news

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