A joint submission from members of the National Tax Liaison Group is expected to be presented to the Treasury shortly, with the professional bodies optimistic that their views will be taken into consideration, given that there is time before JobKeeper 2.0 changes kick in from 28 September.
The extension of JobKeeper for a further six months to 28 March 2021 was announced last week, revealing a new two-tiered payment rate and a tighter eligibility requirement.
The changes include a new decline in turnover test, with entities now needing to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has declined by the requisite percentage in both the June and September quarters.
A decline in the December quarter will also be required for entities looking to receive JobKeeper payments in 2021.
It is expected that the joint submission to the Treasury will now seek greater flexibility on this requirement, with businesses whose situations have improved in the June quarter, but have subsequently deteriorated in the September quarter, unable to gain access to JobKeeper.
The Treasury is also expected to be urged to address an anomaly where businesses that qualify based on business participation are required to have notified the ATO of taxable supplies made before 12 March, leaving new businesses and start-ups out of the loop due to their elected reporting cycle.
With Parliament scheduled to sit in late August, the profession is hopeful that legislation and subsequent ATO guidance will be ready ahead of the changes set to be rolled out in just under two months.
The first version of JobKeeper passed both houses of parliament in an emergency one-day sitting back in early April, leaving little time to provide constructive input.
Subsequent changes to the JobKeeper rules by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg by way of legislative instruments were also introduced on the run, with the profession left waiting on appropriate guidance from the ATO.
“We have the luxury of time this time round for some consultation to occur before legislation surfaces, so all is not lost just yet,” the Institute of Public Accountants general manager of technical policy Tony Greco said.
“There are a number of issues that the accounting and tax associations have identified based on [the JobKeeper 2.0] announcement that hopefully can shape the direction of JobKeeper 2.0 before legislation is finalised.
“We will be working collaboratively with the Treasury and the ATO to work through the next stage of JobKeeper.”
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Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.