It's time to prepare your business to receive the JobKeeper Payments

Wednesday 15th April 2020

It's time to prepare your business to receive the JobKeeper Payments

Wednesday 15th April 2020
Written by Scott Norrish

By now every business owner and employee in the country will have heard something about the JobKeeper stimulus announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg just over a fortnight ago, with entitlements for payments of $1,500 per employee, to be provided as subsidies for eligible businesses commencing effectively 30 March 2020.

The announcement itself on 30 March raised just as many questions as it provided answers, however with the legislation being passed through both Houses of Parliament on 8th April, and with the release yesterday 14th April of Further Detailed Guidance from the ATO, businesses are now in a much better position to determine whether they will qualify, and if they do, how to get access to the payments from the ATO.

There are a few critical dates and steps that are rapidly approaching, that employers who think they may be eligible, need to start to consider as soon as possible.


An employer can only be entitled to JobKeeper payment where they are enrolled with the ATO.

From next Monday, the ATO will begin accepting enrolments for businesses via their existing online services using the myGov ID. Clients who have access to their own Business Portal will be able to enrol themselves, or alternatively this can be done through your Tax Agent (Maxim).

The steps involved, regardless of who performs the enrolment, are as follows:

  1. Access the online enrolment form using the ATO Online Services and authenticate with myGov ID – you MUST do this by the end of April to be eligible for JobKeeper payments for April.
  1. In the online form, provide the following:
    1. Details of the bank account you nominate to receive the payment; and
    2. Complete a declaration that your business is entitled to receive a payment (click for more information about Eligibility – or contact your advisor at Maxim for assistance)
  1. Identify your Eligible Employees – notify those employees that you are intending to claim JobKeeper on their behalf and check that they are not claiming the payment through another employer or nominated business.
  1. Send the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to each of your nominated employees to complete and return to you by the end of April if you plan to claim JobKeeper payment for April. Keep it on file and provide a copy to your registered tax agent if you are using one.
  1. Specify the estimated number of employees who will be eligible for the first JobKeeper fortnight (30 March – 12 April) and the second JobKeeper fortnight (13 April – 26 April).

PLEASE BE AWARE – to be eligible for the payments, you MUST continue to make payments of at least $1,500 per eligible employee per fortnight, to the employees. Even though reimbursement for the first 2 fortnightly periods (ended 12 April and ending 26 April) will not be paid to you by the ATO until May 2020, if you have not paid the payments in advance, to the employees by 30 April 2020, you will not be eligible for any reimbursement from the ATO for the month of April. As above, you must have also enrolled your business by 30 April 2020.

We understand for many businesses this will cause significant cashflow issues. Please be in contact with us if you have any concerns at all.


From Monday 4th May, the ATO will begin to accept claims from enrolled businesses, or their tax agents, to be paid the JobKeeper payment in relation to payments already made to their eligible employees.

The steps involved, regardless of who performs the enrolment, are as follows:

  1. Apply to claim the JobKeeper payment by logging in to the ATO Business Portal or providing a request for your Tax Agent (Maxim) to do this for you on your behalf. (If you use the ATO Business Portal, you will need a myGovID linked to your ABN in Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). You can find out how to set this up at
  1. Ensure you have paid each eligible employee a minimum of $1,500 per JobKeeper fortnight before tax.
  1. Identify your eligible employees in the application form by:
    1. selecting employee details that are prefilled from your STP pay reports if you report payroll information through an STP enabled payroll solution, or
    2. manually entering employee details in ATO online services or the Business Portal if you do not use an STP enabled payroll solution, or
    3. using a registered tax agent who will submit a report on your behalf through Online services for agents.
  1. Notify your eligible employees you have nominated them.
  1. The ATO will electronically transfer you the JobKeeper payment to your nominated bank account.

PLEASE BE AWARE – each month, you will have to reconfirm that your eligible employees have not changed through a further online lodgement known as a JobKeeper Declaration Report. If they do change, you must notify the ATO. You do not need to retest your reported fall in turnover but you will be asked to provide some information about your ongoing current and monthly turnover, in your monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.

The ATO have not specifically disclosed why the ongoing turnover reporting is relevant as the legislation provides that once eligible based on reported fall in turnover, you do not need to retest, you will remain eligible for the duration of the JobKeeper period. One can presume therefore this reporting is required as an anti-avoidance measure to assist in identifying any short-term turnover reductions that could trigger an ATO review on how those reductions were based in the first instance. Given the magnitude of the financial support provided to businesses under this package, we strongly recommend having your eligibility as a business, and for your employees, reviewed to ensure you have a correct basis for claiming and no risk of having to repay any incorrect claims.

Please note we expect a significant number of requests from next Monday to assist with the Enrolment process and Eligibility Reviews, which to be fair to all we will process in the order in which they are received. If you would like to get started early, please contact us at any time from now and we will provide more detail about what information we will require from you and what is involved in the process.

Don’t leave it until the last minute as there are strict deadlines on the enrolment (30 April 2020) and not only do we expect to be quite busy ourselves, we are relying on the ATO online portals remaining stable for the next two weeks. Fingers crossed!

As always, if you have any questions at all, please contact your advisor at Maxim.

Stay safe and support each other.