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ATO extends JobKeeper deadline to allow businesses more time


This week saw the Australian Tax Office (ATO) announce an extension for businesses struggling to meet the JobKeeper requirements.

The Tax Commissioner has extended the deadline for businesses to submit their applications for the initial JobKeeper periods from 30 April to 31 May. This came after a week mired with complaints about businesses struggling to meet their April wage bills ahead of possible reimbursement.

This means that businesses that have now enrolled by 31 May will still be able to claim payments for the fortnights in April and May - provided they met all the other eligibility requirements over that period. That includes having paid workers by the appropriate deadline.

Additionally, for the first two fortnights of JobKeeper payments (30 March to 12 April, and 13 April to 26 April), the deadline for payments has been extended to 8 May, allowing an additional 10 days for those businesses struggling to secure funds.

These extensions will allow businesses further time to consider their circumstances and remove any cash-flow pressures arising from financing arrangements that have not yet been finalised. And also means that businesses whose wages bills may have inadvertently risen due to the JobKeeper payments, will now have extra time to make the initial payments.

You can enrol and claim for JobKeeper earlier if you choose, for example, you can enrol by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for the two fortnights in April.

Importantly, this extension does not negate the obligation on businesses to ensure they continue to pay eligible employees $1,500 in each JobKeeper fortnight.

To assist employers make these payments the four major banks have now agreed to set up a dedicated hotline for their customers to provide bridging finance ahead of the ATO’s reimbursement.

900,000 businesses have expressed interest in the JobKeeper program, while 500,000 businesses have so far enrolled, covering around 3 million employees.

More information can be found on the ATO website or in the links below.