The Australian Government has announced several stimulus initiatives to support sole traders, including the Coronavirus Supplement, the JobSeeker payment, the JobKeeper payment, early access to superannuation and the Instant Asset Write-Off purchase incentive.
The Coronavirus Supplement- is an ongoing $550 payment, delivered fortnightly. You should enquire with Centrelink about the relevant income tests that apply to your situation.
JobSeeker Payment amount depends on individual situation. This includes:
- Personal situation, such as if you have children or a partner
- How much income you’ve earned in the past 14 days
Jobkeeper Payment – the Government will provide a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March until 27 September 2020. For more information about JobKeeper Payment – see below frequently asked questions.
Early access to superannuation – individuals affected can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Individuals can apply from mid-April 2020 if they are unemployed or their business turnover as reduced. For more information click here.
The Instant Asset Write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expands access to businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020. Read about eligibility.
For clarifications about the Jobkeeper Payment – see below the FAQs
Can I apply for JobKeeper as a Sole Trader?
- Yes (see Sole Trader Eligibility)
Even if you run a business as a sole trader with NO employees you can apply for the JobKeeper payment.
Do I need to qualify for the stimulus package package?
- Yes, you need to establish that, as a sole trader, your current turnover has been reduced by at least 30 percent.
- You can use either months of March or April 2020 to qualify for the JobKeeper payment.
What if I am a new business and do not have turnover from March or April 2019 to compare against to confirm I have turned over less than 30 percent?
- There will be a follow up in an alternative test to quantify your eligibility which is coming very soon.
How much and for how long will I be paid as a Sole Trader?
- If you are eligible, you will be paid $1500 a fortnight starting from the 30th March 2020 and ending on 27th September 2020.
When can I apply if I am eligible?
- From Monday 20th April 2020 to the 31th May 2020 is your window of opportunity to apply.
Can I apply for JobSeeker & Jobkeeper payments
- No, You can’t claim the JobSeeker and JobKeeper Payments at the same time.
How do I apply for JobKeeper?
- Either via your myGov app or through your business portal via the myGovID.
- Payments will not arrive for JobKeeper until the first week in May 2020, but the payments will be backdated from 30th March 2020 at that time.
If you have already registered for Single Touch Payroll, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will use this information to confirm your qualification and any other eligible employees. But, not all software will automatically identify your eligible staff. If this is the case you will need to go to your myGov to manually identify these employees.
The last obligation as a Sole Trader is you will need to quantify each and every month thereafter that yourself and any applicable employees still qualify for the JobKeeper payment.
- Provide your current and projected turnover
- This will be an ongoing indication to qualify for the JobKeeper payment
- You or your BAS Agent can provide the Business Monthly Declaration
If you have employees, you will need to:
- Pay the eligible employees the $1500 a fortnight
- Review the numbers of employees each fortnight
- Update the details if your employees change or leave your employment
If you have any questions or would like to organise a phone meeting with your Accountant to apply for the Jobkeeper Payment please contact us.
Disclaimer: This blog post is intended to provide a general summary only; the information should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice.