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JOBKEEPER PAYMENT – INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYEES

 

Employee Obligations

 

Employees will receive a notification from their employer that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment. The majority of employees will need to do nothing further.

 

Employees in the following circumstances will have additional obligations.

 

  • Employees that have multiple employers must notify the employer that is their primary employer.
  • Employees that are not Australian citizens must notify their employer of their visa status, to allow their employer to determine if they are an eligible employee.
  • Employees that are currently in receipt of an income support payment must notify Services Australia of their new income.

Background on Jobkeeper Payment for Employees

 

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a wage subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of 6 months.

 

 

Eligible employees will receive a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of JobKeeper Payments.

 

Eligible employees include Australian citizens, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.

 

Full time and part time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they will also be eligible for the Payment.

 

Employees will be able to receive this payment in a number of different ways.

 

  • If you ordinarily receive $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, you will continue to receive your regular income according to the prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper Payments will subsidize part or all of your income.
  • If you ordinarily receive less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, your employer must pay you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
  • If you have been stood down, your employer must pay you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
  • If you were employed on 1 March 2020, subsequently ceased employment and then were re-engaged by the same eligible employer, you will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

 

Your employer will notify you if they are claiming the JobKeeper Payment on your behalf.

 

Employee who has been stood down and applied for income support

 

Phoebe works in administration services of a large retail company as a permanent full-time employee, but she has been stood down under the Fair Work Act without pay. Phoebe had registered an intent to claim with Services Australia for access to the JobSeeker Payment and the Coronavirus Supplement. Phoebe is single, with no children and in total she would be eligible to receive $1,124.50 before tax per fortnight from Services Australia.

 

Phoebe’s employer has decided to apply for the JobKeeper Payment for all its eligible employees for up to six months. This would entitle Phoebe to $1,500 per fortnight before tax. Phoebe’s employer is required to advise her that she has been nominated as an eligible employee to receive the payment.

 

If Phoebe elects to receive income support though Services Australia, she will need to report her income from the JobKeeper Payment to Services Australia. Phoebe may no longer be eligible for income support from Services Australia as a result of receiving the JobKeeper Payment.

 

Contact Expert Tax on 0449 952 855 or 1300 869 829 for tax related matters.

 

 

From 31st March 2020, approximately 6.5 million Australians will find themselves $750 richer as the government frantically tries to stimulate an economy crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The one-off payment is a component of a package designed to support the nation’s most vulnerable citizens, and the government intends for it to be spent widely in the community.

Preview (opens in a new window)

It’s called an “Economic Support Payment“, and here’s what you need to know.

1.    When does the Centrelink payment arrive in my account?

If you’ve been living in Australia and receiving an eligible Centrelink Payment between March 12, 2020 and April 13, 2020 the $750 from Centrelink will arrive starting from March 31, 2020

The government estimated that most will be seeing it in their bank accounts by April 17 this year.

2. Should I contact Centrelink?

If you have already been receiving an eligible payment, then you don’t need to do anything – Centrelink will pay you automatically.

3. Am I eligible for the $750 payment?

Essentially, most people who already receive support from Centrelink will receive the payment.

This includes a long list of payments, which includes:

 

  • Age Pension
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Carer Payment
  • Carer Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Wife Pension
  • Widow B Pension
  • ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)
  • Austudy
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Newstart Allowance
  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Widow Allowance
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Family Tax Benefit A
  • Family Tax Benefit B
  • Double Orphan Pension.

Additionally, if you hold a pensioner concession card, a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or a veteran Gold card, you will receive the payment.

 

4. Will I receive double or triple the payments if I qualify for a number of those payments?

 

No. You’ll only receive one payment even if you qualify across several benefits.

 

5. What if my payment doesn’t arrive?

 

The government expects most people to be paid by April 17 this year. To ensure there is no mix-up, Centrelink is also encouraging users to log on to their online account and ensure their bank account details are correct.

 

6. Is this payment taxed?

 

No. This $750 payment is exempt from tax, which also means it won’t be counted as your income for social security or family tax benefit payments.

 

Centrelink has also stated they will not use the payment to pay off an existing Centrelink or Child Support debt.

 

7. How do I know if I’m eligible for unemployment benefits if I’ve never received a payment from Centrelink?

 

The latest list of government restrictions has suddenly left thousands of Australians jobless, many of whom have never been through the Centrelink system.

 

If you’ve lost your job or income has reduced due to coronavirus, you may be eligible for a youth allowance payment (if you’re 21 or younger), you may be able to claim an ongoing JobSeeker Payment (if you’re between 22 and the aged pension) or you may be able to claim a parenting payment if you’re the main carer for a young child.

 

The best place to start is to register your intention to claim a Centrelink payment, which can be done completely online – you do not need to call or visit a service centre in person.

 

It’s all done online in myGov. Here’s a handy step-by-step guide to registering your intention to claim.

 

8. In that case what is a CRN? Do you have to line up to get one if you’ve never been with Centrelink before?

 

A CRN is a Centrelink Customer Reference Number, which acts like your own personal registration code for receiving support payments.

 

To get a CRN, Centrelink needs to be able to prove your identity, which they can do over the phone.

 

For most people, this will be via their 132850 phone number.

 

Contact Expert Tax on 0449 952 855 or 1300 869 829 for tax related matters.

 

 

 

 

 

Early access to superannuation due to COVID-19

 

Individuals affected by the coronavirus can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from mid-April 2020.

 

While superannuation helps people save for retirement, the Government recognizes that for those significantly financially affected by the coronavirus, accessing some of their superannuation today may outweigh the benefits of maintaining those savings until retirement.

 

Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for approximately three months (exact timing will depend on the passage of the relevant legislation).

 

Eligibility

 

To apply for early release, you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:

 

  • you’re unemployed
  • you’re eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance
  • on or after 1 January 2020
    • you were made redundant
    • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more
    • if you’re a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.

People accessing their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

 

How to apply

 

If you’re eligible for this early release, you’ll be able to apply directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through the myGov website. You’ll need to certify that you meet the above eligibility criteria.

 

After the ATO has processed your application, they’ll issue you with a determination. The ATO will also provide a copy of this determination to your superannuation fund. This will advise them to release your superannuation payment. Your fund will then make the payment to you, without you needing to apply to them directly.

 

However, to ensure you receive your payment as soon as possible, you should contact your fund to check that they have your correct details, including your current bank account details and proof of identity documents. Separate arrangements will apply if you are a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF).

 

Contact Expert Tax on 0449 952 855 or 1300 869 829 for tax related queries.

 

 

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