Rules Covering the Operation of JobKeeper

Eligibility for charities and how the decline in turnover threshold will be measured

The Australian Government passed the JobKeeper legislation last Wednesday and released the Rules for the scheme on Thursday evening. In addition, there are still implementation arrangements to be issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) which may affect the information below and generate further changes. The rules are complex and CCSA suggests you consider their impact on your service carefully and in detail. To support you in doing this, we set out the following steps for you to consider:

  1. Make it possible: If you haven’t yet done so, register for direct information from the ATO at https://www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment/.
  1. Gather the information for comparison: Review the service’s GST turnover from the relevant comparison period(s) from last year, so that you are ready to make the necessary comparison and determine your eligibility:
    1. The comparison periods for turnover will be based on the Business Activity Statements your service has lodged:
      • if your service has lodged monthly, the service has the option to compare either their March 2020 GST turnover with their March 2019 GST turnover, or their April 2020 projected GST turnover with their April 2019 actual GST turnover, or
      • if your service lodged quarterly, the service will compare the April to June 2020 projected GST turnover with its April to June 2019 actual GST turnover.
    2. In calculating GST turnover include all sales in the period, whether with GST or GST-free.
    3. Charities and Deductible Gift Recipients (DGR) will also need to include anticipated gifts relevant to the reporting period the service is comparing.
  1. Determine if the service is eligible: It was initially thought that all services registered as a charity with the ACNC would be able to access the lowest threshold of decline in turnover of 15%. However, CCSA understands the Rules explicitly exclude schools from this lower threshold and that, by the definition, preschools will also be excluded from the 15% threshold. If this is correct, the higher threshold of 30% of decline in turnover will apply to preschools even though they may be not-for-profit associations registered with the ACNC. CCSA is investigating what impact this will have on organisations that operate a mixed service delivery model (e.g. operate both a long day care and state-funded preschool places).
  1. The service may meet the threshold in later periods: If the decline in turnover does not meet the threshold decline initially, services may be able to enter the JobKeeper scheme if there is a further decline in turnover and they meet the threshold in a later period.
  1. The service only has to meet the threshold once: The decline in turnover is an entry test into the JobKeeper scheme. Services do not then have to continually meet the decline in turnover to remain in the scheme until its planned end date of 27 September 2020.
  2. Submit your election to participate: To have JobKeeper payments back-dated to the commencement of the scheme on 30 March 2020, employers will have to provide their election to participate to the ATO by 26 April 2020.

CCSA is monitoring the progress of the implementation of JobKeeper and will provide further information as it becomes available. There will be more information that you will need to submit, including the agreement of the employees to be covered.

Please remember, CCSA is seeking to provide you with information and support – but it does not provide legal advice and you may wish to obtain expert advice from a qualified professional about the particulars of your service. Our Member Support Team is there to help you work through the issues you may have but you will need to make an independent and informed decision about the impact these new regulations will have on the service.