JobKeeper for Farm Businesses
What is JobKeeper?
The JobKeeper Payment is a Federal Government scheme whereby eligible businesses will receive payments of $1500 per fortnight per employee to enable them to continue paying the wages or salaries of employees.
Eligible employers will be reimbursed a fixed amount of $1500 per fortnight (before tax) per employee from 30 March 2020.
Who is eligible?
Your business must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment:
- On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business 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 a 30% fall in turnover (if your aggregate annual turnover is less than $1 billion); and
- Your company is not in liquidation and is not bankrupt.
To determine a 30% fall in turnover, you can compare either:
- GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019; or
- Projected GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019; or
- Project GST turnover for the quarter beginning April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter beginning April 2019.
More detailed information on these criteria is available here.
If your business cannot demonstrate a 30% fall in turnover using the above comparisons, there are alternative tests. Many of these tests are relevant to farm businesses which have uneven income throughout the year or have experienced a recent financial downturn due to drought or bushfires. There are several circumstances where an alternative test may be applicable:
- Your business was established after the 2019 comparison period;
- Your business is not the same business it was in the 2019 comparison period;
- Your business’s turnover has increased substantially in the past year;
- Your business was affected by drought or another declared natural disaster during the relevant comparison period;
- Your business had a large irregular variance in their turnover during the past year. This does not include cyclical or regular seasonal variance; and
- Your business is a sole trader or partnership and turnover has been affected by sickness, injury or leave.
More detailed information on these alternative tests is available here.
You can only claim JobKeeper for eligible employees. An employee is eligible if he/she is:
- Employed by you (including those stood down or re-hired after 1 March 2020);
- A permanent full-time or part-time employee or a long-term casual employee as of 1 March 2020;
- At least 16 years of age as of 1 March 2020; and
- An Australian resident as of 1 March 2020 (an Australian citizen, a permanent residence visa holder, or a protected Special Category visa holder).
If you are unsure whether your farm business is eligible for JobKeeper, you should contact the Australian Tax Office on 13 28 66.
How to apply
If your business and your employees are eligible for JobKeeper, you should apply by following the steps on this page.