Accountants and bookkeepers are currently the doctors and nurses of your business. Based on the most recent assistance package announced, they will be scouring your financial records hoping to find that your revenue is down by at least 30% compared to last year. The exact details are not clear at this moment but it looks like if your revenue is down by 30%, even for the month of March, then you will be eligible for a huge benefit. This is in addition to the BAS rebates.

According to Macquarie Bank:

The JobKeeper Payment is designed to help businesses affected by the coronavirus to cover the costs of their employees’ wages, help more people to retain their jobs and continue to earn an income. The scheme will see the Australian Government pay employers a wage subsidy at a flat rate of $1,500 per employee, per fortnight for up to six months, backdated to 30 March.

There is no cap on the number of employees eligible for the subsidy at the business level. This amount is equivalent to around 70% of the Australian median wage.1 In the accommodation, hospitality and retail industries, it is equivalent to the full median wage.

Which businesses are eligible to participate?

UPDATED [6/4/20] by Legal Practice Intelligence: new criteria: turnover has fallen or will likely fall by 30 per cent or more. 

Companies with an annual turnover of less than $1 billion who experience, or expect to experience, at least a 30% decline in revenue in any month since 1 March, versus a year earlier. Businesses with annual turnover of $1 billion or more are eligible if their turnover will fall by more than 50%.

Employers must apply to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to participate in the scheme and provide supporting information, demonstrating the impact felt in their business. Employers will also need to continue to report to the ATO the number of eligible employees employed by their business each month.

Which employees are eligible for the payment?
Businesses will receive the payment for each eligible employee, as at 1 March 2020, who continue to be engaged by their business. This includes full-time and part-time employees, casuals with regular service in the 12 months prior to 1 March 2020, and stood down employees. Employees who have been stood down since 1 March can also be re-engaged and receive the wage subsidy. Self-employed business owners will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment where they have suffered, or expect to suffer, a 30% decline in turnover – relative to a comparable prior period (of at least a month).

How will the payments be made?
Payments will be made to businesses by the ATO, monthly in arrears. The first payments will be received by businesses in the first week of May.

How do I participate in the scheme?
To register your interest for the scheme, please visit the ATO website: https://www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment/.