As an incentive to retain employees, the Federal Government’s JobKeeper payments entitle an employer to receive $1500 per fortnight per employee as a wage subsidy.
This may also include business owners who may be an employee of a company or trust.
But what happens to those business owners who are not employees of the business?
Eligibility of non-employee business owners to claim Jobkeeper payments for themselves
Self employed Directors, contractors, sole traders, partners in partnerships, beneficiaries in trusts and shareholders of companies can all participate in the JobKeeper scheme – but only one per entity.
This rule applies whether or not the business has other employees.
To be eligible for the Jobseeker allowance, the following conditions must be met:
(a) The business entity needs to show a reduction in revenue of at least 30 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2019
(b) The business must hold an ABN on 12 March 2020, or at a later time allowed by ATO
(c) The business must lodge its income tax return for 2018-19 (or BAS) before 12 March 2020, although the ATO does have discretion to extend this time in appropriate cases
(d) The individual must not be employed by the entity during the period
(e) The person should be actively engaged in the business carried on by the entity
(f) They must be a sole trader, a partner in a partnership, an adult beneficiary of a trust, or a shareholder or director of a company, as required
(g) They must be 16 years’ or over on 1 March 2020, an Australian resident; and not on parental leave pay, father or partner pay or workers compensation.
As an integrity measure, Income tax return of the business owner for year 2018-2019 or the Business Activity statement (BAS) should have been lodged before 12 march 2020. If they were not, then non-employee business owners may miss out on Jobkeeper payments. However, the ATO does have discretion to extend this timeline in appropriate cases, so it is important to speak to your accountant if you do not meet this condition.
Only one owner is eligible per entity
If the business has partners, or more than one director, shareholders or beneficiaries, only one of them is eligible for the Jobkeeper payment.
Therefore, if you are in partnership or have other directors or trust beneficiaries, you need to decide which person should receive the payments.
There are strict compliance, monthly reporting, due diligence and anti-avoidance provisions in operation for the Jobkeeper payments.
And always ensure you consult with your accountant to determine your eligibility and compliance requirements.
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