JobKeeper Enrolment Guide for Sole Traders

JobKeeper Enrolment Guide for Sole Traders

Enrolment is now open for the government’s JobKeeper Payment scheme through the ATO’s Business Portal. Please see below for a step-by-step guide for sole traders without employees to apply.

Key dates

  • From 20 April: enrol for JobKeeper payment.
  • By 30 April: enrol and pay your employees to claim JobKeeper payments for April.
  • 4 May onwards: identify your employees.
  • Each month: reconfirm eligibility.

If you need more time, you have until the end of May to enrol and identify your employees.

[accordion][spoiler title=”Step 1: Check your Company’s Eligibility” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Eligible Employers

Employers are eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all of the following apply:

  • On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia or were a not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia.
  • You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
  • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
  • Your business has faced either a  
    • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
    • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion)
    • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools).
  • Your business is not in one of the ineligible categories.

Calculating turnover

Your aggregated turnover broadly includes your annual turnover, plus the annual turnover of all the entities that are connected or affiliated with you, subject to specific adjustments (for example, for transactions between you and those other entities). These connected entities or affiliates may be based in Australia or overseas.

The turnover calculation is based on GST turnover. This applies even if an entity is not registered for GST. To work out your fall in turnover, you can compare either:

  • GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019
  • projected GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019
  • projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2019.

You only need to satisfy this requirement once – you don’t need to retest your turnover each month. However, you will be asked each month to tell us your current and projected turnover. The Commissioner of Taxation also has the discretion to set out alternative tests that can establish your eligibility when turnover periods are not appropriately comparable (for example, if your business has been in operation less than a year). The ATO will provide more information soon about alternative tests.

[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Step 2: Check if you are an “eligible business participant” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

If you are a director or a shareholder of a company, a partner in a partnership, or an adult beneficiary of a trust, consider whether you will nominate as an eligible business participant. A limit applies of one $1,500 JobKeeper payment per fortnight for the eligible business participant. The entity, not the eligible business participant, receives the JobKeeper payment.

You are an eligible business participant of your entity if you meet all of the following:

  • You are an individual not employed by your entity.
  • You are actively engaged in the business carried on by your entity (at 1 March 2020).
  • You are one of the following (at 1 March 2020)  
    • a sole trader
    • a partner in the partnership
    • an adult beneficiary of the trust
    • a shareholder or director in the company.
  • As at 1 March 2020, you are both  
    • aged at least 16
    • an Australian resident (within the meaning of section 7 of the Social Security Act 1991), or a resident for income tax purposes and the holder of a special category (Subclass 444) visa.
  • You are not currently receiving government parental leave or Dad and partner pay.
  • You are not currently totally incapacitated for work and receiving payments under an Australian workers’ compensation law in respect of your total incapacity to work.

Your entity is eligible if:

  • on 1 March 2020, it carried on a business in Australia
  • it satisfies the fall in turnover test for the relevant period
  • it satisfied certain conditions as at 12 March 2020, being  
    • it had an ABN on 12 March 2020, and
    • it had lodged, on or before 12 March 2020, at least one of  
      • a 2018–19 income tax return showing that it had an amount included in its assessable income in relation to it carrying on a business, or
      • an activity statement or GST return for any tax period that started after 1 July 2018 and ended before 12 March 2020 showing that it made a taxable, GST-free or input-taxed sale.
[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Step 3: Enrol and nominate for the JobKeeper payment” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Before you can enrol, the “principal authority” will need a myGovID linked to your ABN in relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). You can find out how to set this up at: https://info.authorisationmanager.gov.au/principal-authority

  • You can enrol for the JobKeeper payment by logging in to the ATO Business Portal using myGovID. The link to the portal is: https://bp.ato.gov.au/
  • Select ‘Manage employees’ then click on the link, “JobKeeper enrol”.
  • Fill in the JobKeeper enrolment form and provide your:
    • eligibility information
    • expected number of eligible employees
    • contact and bank details.
    • you are a sole trader nominating as an eligible business participant.
  • To ensure you receive your JobKeeper payments as early possible, you should enrol by the end of April. However, enrolments are open till the end of May if you need more time.
  • If you are nominating yourself as the eligible business participant, log in to ATO online services via myGov, or the Business Portal using myGovID and confirm your details.
  • If you don’t have employees log into ATO online services via myGov, or the Business Portal using myGovID to confirm that you don’t have any employees to identify.
[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Step 4: Make a business monthly declaration” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Each month, you must provide information as to your current and projected GST turnover. This is not a retest of your eligibility, but rather an indication of how your business is progressing under the JobKeeper Payment scheme.

[/spoiler]