We wish to provide you with some preliminary information regarding the Federal Government JobKeeper payments. The Federal Government passed the JobKeeper legislation on Wednesday 8 April. There is a fact sheet and frequently asked questions available on the Government Treasury website: treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper.
Please note that whilst the legislation has been passed, we will need to review the legislation in detail to determine the full eligibility requirements for the scheme. We anticipate this will be available in the coming days and we will communicate further information once we have access to the legislation and can interpret the application to the Uniting Church.
Under the JobKeeper program your congregation may be able to claim a wage subsidy payment if your reportable income has or will likely fall by more than 15% relative to a comparable period in 2019. This will be done by reference to your reported GST turnover in your Business Activity Statements (BAS).
This subsidy is the equivalent of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee effective from 30 March 2020. To receive this subsidy each nominated employee will need to be paid the equivalent of at least $1,500 pre-tax per fortnight (via Synod Payroll).
What do I need to do?
At this stage the only action that you may wish to take is to register your interest in JobKeeper with the ATO - no other action is currently required.
If your congregation reports wages, salary and PAYG withholding amounts on your BAS, you can register an interest in JobKeeper via the ATO website: ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/. Registering with the ATO does not guarantee eligibility nor does it compel your congregation to lodge a claim should it be determined that your congregation will not qualify.
Treasurers should note that the first JobKeeper payment will be scheduled for early May covering the period from 30 March to 26 April. Hence there will be a period where the payments need to be covered by the Congregations prior to being reclaimed from the ATO. This delay could create significant cash-flow implications.
Details regarding Government financial incentives and other financial assistance or relief available to congregations will be shared as soon as it has become available, understood and/or agreed.
We will continue to keep you updated when we have further information. If you have questions regarding this matter, please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond when we have further information.