Continuing our series of blogs over the past two weeks covering government support for the recent Coronavirus outbreak in Greater Sydney – dubbed “JobSaver” the NSW and federal government announced tax-free business grants of between $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000 per week, to support NSW businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
Employing businesses can get 40% of weekly payroll, with a minimum payment of $1,500 and a maximum payment of $10,000 per week, paid fortnightly to maintain employee headcount and cash flow.
Non-employing businesses get $1,000 per week.
Businesses will be able to apply at MyServiceNSW with applications open from Monday July 26 and payments are expected to flow from July 30. Please visit Apply for the COVID-19 JobSaver programme to apply. Applications close at 11:59pm on 18 October 2021.
In our last communication, brief eligibility criteria had been released by the NSW and federal governments.
Detailed guidelines and eligibility criteria have now been released. In summary, businesses and not-for-profit organisations will be eligible for JobSaver if:
- they have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and were operating in New South Wales on 1 June 2021;
- they had a national aggregated annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020;
- they experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the Public Health Order over a minimum 2-week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown (commenced 26 June and due to end 30 July 2021), compared to the same period in 2019;
- for employing businesses, they maintain their employee headcount on 13 July 2021 while they continue to receive JobSaver payments (businesses that do not maintain the declared headcount must notify Service NSW); and
- for non-employing businesses, the business receiving payments must be the primary income source for the associated person. Individuals with more than one non-employing business may only claim payments for one business only.
The eligibility criteria thereby necessitates that any business that was eligible for the one-off COVID-19 business grant, would automatically be eligible for JobSaver. They will however need to provide further information on employee headcount and payroll.
Should the lockdown be extended beyond 30 July as expected, then it is assumed that the 2-week test period will also be extended accordingly.
Certain entities, such as those primarily earning passive income (rents, interest, or dividends), government agencies, local governments, banks, and universities are not eligible for JobSaver.
Applications will open on 26 July 2021 and close at 11:59pm on 18 October 2021.
Once deemed eligible, businesses will receive automatic fortnightly payments. Businesses will not need to re-apply but must notify Service NSW if they are not maintaining the number of employees they had on 13 July 2021. Reductions in employee headcount resulting from circumstances outside the control of the employer (such as voluntary resignations, death of an employee) will not be taken as a reduction in employee headcount on 13 July.
Payments will be made in arrears with the first payment backdated to 18 July.
Eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations will receive fortnightly payments backdated to cover costs incurred from week-4 of the Greater Sydney lockdown (from 18 July 2021 onwards). Last week’s 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant covers the first three weeks of the Greater Sydney lockdown.
Eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations with employees will receive the equivalent to 40% of Weekly Payroll (defined below) for work performed in New South Wales provided:
- The minimum payment will be $1,500 per week, and
- The maximum payment will be $10,000 per week.
Eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations that do not have any employees will receive $1,000 per week.
Weekly Payroll refers to the ATO concept of salary, wages and other payments, as declared in a Business Activity Statement (BAS) with respect to payments made for employees that usually worked, or were based, in New South Wales. This also includes allowances, leave loading, director fees and termination payments, but does not include superannuation contributions, amounts subject to salary sacrifice, interest or dividends.
Evidence to support eligibility
If your business is on the highly impacted industries list, you’ll be required to:
- declare that you meet the eligibility criteria
- declare your employee headcount at 13 July 2021
- if you have employees, declare that you will maintain your employee headcount on 13 July 2021 for the period for which you will receive JobSaver payments. Service NSW must be notified if the headcount declines over the payment period
- if you do not have employees, declare that the business is the primary income source for the owner of the business
- submit an Australian income tax return, Notice of Assessment or other documentation demonstrating the business had a national aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020
- provide details of your qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent
- provide evidence of weekly payroll
- lodge other supporting documents as required to demonstrate you meet the eligibility criteria.
If your business is not on the highly impacted industries list, in addition to the evidence requirements outlined above, you’ll need to:
- submit a letter from a qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent, to demonstrate that you experienced a decline in turnover over a minimum 2-week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown (commenced 26 June) compared to the same period in 2019.
Successful applications may be subject to an audit. A public reporting channel will be established to allow people to report businesses not adhering to JobSaver guidelines.Service NSW can request a combination of the following documents to support its determination of eligibility and use of funds in accordance with JobSaver Terms and Conditions including:
- accountant’s letter
- prior BAS statements
- income tax declarations
- audited profit and loss statements.
Accordingly, we recommend you work with us to confirm eligibility criteria has been correctly calculated and the necessary supporting documentation above is in order, before submitting your application.
The CharterNet team sends everyone their best wishes in these uncertain times.
In the midst of increasing case numbers, a “national emergency” declared for Sydney’s outbreak and further limits placed on non-essential retail / the construction industry, the spotlight is back on state and federal stimulus, with several calls for the JobKeeper program (or similar) to be reinstated to support businesses and families through a protracted lockdown. We will keep you apprised of any such developments as they unfold over the coming weeks.
In the meantime we would be pleased to assist you in confirming eligibility and compiling the necessary documentation to support your application for the JobSaver grant.
If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact your CharterNet team member.