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21st April, 2020

FAQ: Clarifying JobKeeper for sole traders

Yes, sole traders can be eligible to receive JobKeeper, but there is some confusion as to how. This article from Amanda Hoffman provides direction for those in need.

There’s some confusion as to who qualifies for the JobKeeper Stimulus Package and who does not.

This article will hopefully alleviate the myths and misconceptions that are floating around on social media.

Can I apply for JobKeeper as a Sole Trader?

Yes (see Sole Trader Eligibility)

Do I need to qualify for the stimulus package package?

Yes, you need to establish that, as a sole trader, your current turnover has been reduced by at least 30 percent. (Download the Treasury.gov.au factsheet frequently asked questions)

You can use either months of March or April 2020 to qualify for the JobKeeper payment.

What if I am a new business and do not have turnover from March or April 2019 to compare against to confirm I have turned over less than 30 percent?

There will be a follow up in an alternative test to quantify your eligibility which is coming very soon.

How much and for how long will I be paid as a Sole Trader?

If you are eligible, you will be paid $1500 a fortnight starting from the 30th March 2020 and ending on 27th September 2020.

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When can I apply if I am eligible?

Now.

Monday 20th April 2020 to the 30th April 2020 is your window of opportunity to apply.

UPDATE: The ATO has advised the window for enrollment to receive the first JobKeeper payments has been extended to 31 May, 2020.

Click to download MYOB's JobKeeper Cheatsheet.

How do I apply for JobKeeper?

Either via your myGov app or through your business portal via the myGovID.

Payments will not arrive for JobKeeper until the first week in May 2020, but the payments will be backdated from 30th March 2020 at that time.

If you have already registered for Single Touch Payroll, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will use this information to confirm your qualification and any other eligible employees. But, not all software will automatically identify your eligible staff. If this is the case you will need to go to your myGov to manually identify these employees.

Should you not be registered for Single Touch Payroll, you can fill in a form manually via this link from the ATO. This JobKeeper Payment Guide can then be uploaded via your myGovID Business Portal.

The last obligation as a Sole Trader is you will need to quantify each and every month thereafter that yourself and any applicable employees still qualify for the JobKeeper payment.

  • Provide your current and projected turnover
  • This will be a ongoing indication to qualify for the JobKeeper payment
  • You or your BAS Agent can provide the Business Monthly Declaration

If you have employees you will need to:

  • Pay the eligible employees the $1500 a fortnight
  • Review the numbers of employees each fortnight
  • Update the details if your employees change or leave your employment

Where to get more information?

Go to the ATO’s JobKeeper Guide for more information.

This information is general in nature and is not intended as financial advice. MYOB advises any business owner impacted by COVID-19 to take steps to consult with an accredited tax agent or other specialist business advisor before making any decisions about their business. You can begin searching for an advisor here.