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JobKeeper regime: ATO announces extensions to key January 2021 dates
Technical article

JobKeeper regime: ATO announces extensions to key January 2021 dates

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced automatic extensions to a number of key dates for the JobKeeper regime that otherwise fall due in January 2021. In this bulletin, we set out a summary of these concessions.

First JobKeeper extension

The first JobKeeper extension ends on 3 January 2021.

Satisfying the wage condition for the final fortnight

To be eligible to receive JobKeeper payments in respect of the final fortnight for the first extension period, participating employers must, amongst other things, meet the wage condition by 3 January 2021. That poses some administrative challenges as 3 January is a Sunday and the preceding Friday is the New Year’s Day public holiday. Recognising this, the ATO has announced that employers have until the end of Monday 4 January 2021 to meet the wage condition for that fortnight.

As a reminder, the wage condition for this extension period requires participating employers to pay at least $1,200 in respect of eligible higher rate employees or $750 for eligible lower rate employees. For this purpose, the amount paid includes amounts withheld under the PAYG regime together with salary sacrificed superannuation and other benefits.

Employer’s December declaration

Ordinarily, employers would need to lodge the December 2020 monthly JobKeeper declaration by 14 January 2021. Again, recognising the impact of Christmas closures, the ATO has extended the due date for this declaration to 28 January 2021.

Second JobKeeper extension

The second JobKeeper extension covers fortnights in the period 4 January to 28 March 2021 (both inclusive).

Retest decline in turnover

All businesses and not-for-profits wishing to participate in the second JobKeeper extension must retest that their actual GST turnover in the December 2020 quarter has declined relative to a comparable period, generally the corresponding quarter in 2019 by at least the required percentage (or an alternative period if one of the alternative tests apply). Employers will need to notify the ATO of the results of this retesting before they can complete the January monthly declaration from 1 February 2021.

Satisfying the wage condition for the final fortnight

The ATO has announced that employers will have until Sunday 31 January 2021 to meet the wage condition for their eligible employees for the first two JobKeeper fortnights in this extension (the fortnights starting 4 January 2021 and 18 January 2021).

As a reminder, the wage condition for this extension period requires participating employers to pay at least $1,000 for each eligible higher rate employee or $650 for each eligible lower rate employee.

To discuss these concessions, contact your Pitcher Partners representative.

This content is general commentary only and does not constitute advice. Before making any decision or taking any action in relation to the content, you should consult your professional advisor. To the maximum extent permitted by law, neither Pitcher Partners or its affiliated entities, nor any of our employees will be liable for any loss, damage, liability or claim whatsoever suffered or incurred arising directly or indirectly out of the use or reliance on the material contained in this content. Pitcher Partners is an association of independent firms. Pitcher Partners is a member of the global network of Baker Tilly International Limited, the members of which are separate and independent legal entities. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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