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August 10, 2020
Australia announces changes to broaden JKP eligibility criteria
Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced three significant changes to the criteria for the Jobkeeper payments wage subsidy (JKP) on 7 August 2020. These changes include:
The JKP 2.0 decline in turnover test criteria is revised to:
The proposed JKP 2.0 rates remain the same as announced on 21 July and further details of the changes are available in EY Global Tax Alert, Australia jobkeeper 2.0 – wage subsidy extended with modified entitlements and eligibility tests, dated 23 July 2020.
While the change to test employees at 1 July 2020 is intended to allow businesses currently claiming JKP (and those that may now qualify for JKP) to increase their access to JKP, there is no detail available and it is not clear how this impacts current JKP eligible employees. We are seeking clarity from Treasury to confirm or otherwise clarify that:
For entities already claiming JKP, urgent action may be required to complete all necessary tasks for any employees who might newly qualify for the current JKP using the 1 July 2020 date in order to receive payments for the first applicable Jobkeeper fortnight ending on 16 August 2020 (effectively this coming 14 August). Consideration should be given to identifying affected employees which should facilitate acting promptly as soon as further detail is available.
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
Ernst & Young (Australia), Sydney
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Australian Tax Desk, New York
Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), Australian Tax Desk, London