Xero Payroll

Deadline for JobKeeper is extended

Xero users are covered

If you’re one of the 800,000 Australian businesses interested in JobKeeper, be aware that the window to enrol for the subsidy payments from end-March has been extended.

You now have an extra month, as the ATO has set a deadline of 31 May.

Xero has built new tools that make it simple for you to check your eligibility for relief, pay employees a wage subsidy and file required reports to the tax office.

Xero’s developers have build these tools in close consultation with the ATO. The features are designed to streamline the process of applying for and processing government relief. It’s just the start of efforts at Xero to make accessing government help easier, so stay tuned for further updates.

Here’s a brief overview of the steps to take, from getting started to processing JobKeeper payments to your employees.

1. Check whether your business is eligible with our turnover calculator

A key criterion for eligibility is showing that your business’ turnover has dropped by 30%, though there are exceptions. The calculator in Xero can determine how much your revenue has changed over a set period of time.

2. Ensure you’ve set up STP and enrol your business with the ATO 

Single Touch Payroll is the simplest route to receiving a JobKeeper subsidy as you’ll be able to easily report each pay run to the ATO. If you’re not on STP, getting started is simple. Once you’re set up, head over to the ATO website to register your business for JobKeeper. 

3. Enroll employees who may be eligible for JobKeeper payments

Xero Payroll will compare the government’s eligibility criteria and data in Xero to suggest a list of employees who are likely to be eligible. To enrol them, head here and simply click “Start JobKeeper.” Select the fortnight in which you want each employee’s JobKeeper payment to start. While you have until 31 May to enrol, the ATO encourages you to do so by the end of April to ensure you receive your JobKeeper payments as soon as possible. Note the Tax Office plans to pay employers one month in arrears.

4. Report JobKeeper payments you’ve made to employees

Xero added a new pay item, “JobKeeper Payment top up,” so that you can accurately report these payments to the ATO. You just need to add the item to your employee’s payslip. Note that businesses can now process payroll after 30 April and still receive a subsidy. Per the ATO: “For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), we will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by 8 May 2020.”

The ATO also requires that you report details on your revenue and staff numbers each month, which Xero will help you do. Ask the team at Notch about processing payments.

This is a brief overview and we recommend getting in touch with our team at Notch Above Bookkeeping for detailed advice on the JobKeeper program. If you don’t have a business bookkeeper who is across the JobKeeper payment subsidy scheme, contact us today on 1300 015 130.

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Source: Deadline for JobKeeper is extended. Xero has you covered – Xero Blog (2020). Available at: https://www.xero.com/blog/2020/04/deadline-for-australias-jobkeeper-is-approaching-xero-has-you-covered/?fbclid=IwAR1-gXvIdledLRC1-Orsv1ZHMoEtziMDT6Qiblb5CCU8mOu3B4t-pU3z3Ag (Accessed: 28 April 2020).
calculator financials pen

Superannuation guarantee amnesty

Superannuation guarantee amnesty bill passed by Parliament

The superannuation guarantee amnesty bill passed Parliament on 24 February and has now received Royal Assent and is law.

This law change provides a number of incentives for employers to pay any unpaid historical superannuation guarantee (SG) amounts relating to the period 1 July 1992 to 31 March 2018.

Superannuation guarantee amnesty benefits

Provided superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) relating to the period above is paid during the amnesty period of 24 May 2018 until 6 months after the date of Royal Assent (6 September 2020), eligible employers will receive the following benefits:

1. The SGC will be deductible

The SGC, which is usually non-deductible, is comprised of the following amounts:

  • the total SG shortfall – that is, the total of the SG shortfalls for each affected employee;
  • interest on SG shortfalls – currently 10% per annum on each individual SG shortfall; and
  • an administration fee – usually $20 per employee, per quarter (but note point 2 below).

2. The administration fee component of the SGC will be waived.
3. No penalties will be applied for failing to lodge an SGC statement.

In usual circumstances, this penalty can be up to 200% of the SGC amount. A further incentive is that if any SG shortfall relating to the period between 1 July 1992 and 31 March 2018 is not disclosed during the amnesty period (24 May 2018 until 6 months after the date of Royal Assent) and this is subsequently uncovered by the Australian Taxation Office, a minimum penalty of 100% of the SGC will apply.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, including the eligibility criteria and how to make a disclosure in the correct form, please contact Notch Above Bookkeeping on 1300 015 130.
cash flow

COVID-19 Cash Flow Boost

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

Cash Flow Boost not to be offset against existing tax debt in some situations.

The Tax Office has announced that the cash flow boosts will be applied to reduce liabilities arising from the same activity statement but will not be offset against existing BAS debt but rather refunded to you. 

This is great news for businesses that do have an existing debt and will mean that the cash is in the hands of the business to assist during this uncertain time.

For this to happen, however, we do need to ensure the BAS for the March quarter is lodged AFTER 28 April rather than before.  If lodged before the refund will be offset against existing debt first.

For more information on the cash flow boost initiative, please see the tax office website here or get in touch with the team at Notch Above Bookkeeping on 1300 015 130.

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Source: Boosting cash flow for employers (2020). Available at: https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Business-activity-statements-(BAS)/In-detail/Boosting-cash-flow-for-employers/?anchor=Accessingthecashflowboosts#Accessingthecashflowboosts (Accessed: 20 April 2020).

JobKeeper Enrolments Start Monday 20 April

There has been a lot of talk around the JobKeeper payment and at last we have a few more specific details. 

Enrolments will start on Monday and be open for two weeks for the first payment period.

There is a step-by-step process to follow for this scheme which we can do for you to allow you to continue focusing on your business.

The subsidy will be paid for a maximum period of six months, from 30 March 2020 up until 27 September 2020 and may be worth up to $19,500 per eligible employee. It will be paid to eligible businesses monthly in arrears, with the first payment commencing to employers from the first week of May 2020.

Under the scheme, eligible businesses will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee and/or for one eligible business participant.

The questions that need to be answered for your business include:

  • Is my business eligible?
  • Has my business met the reduction in turnover test?
  • Which of my employees are eligible?
  • Do I need to provide top-up payments to employees?

There are changes to the Fair Work Act so that Employers can manage their workforce more flexibly over the next six months.  Please see the detailed information sheet from Fair Work here.  We can’t provide HR advice but this document does summarise the changes.

We could have not foreseen the COVID-19 pandemic and the extent of work required in the Jobkeeper enrolment, applications and ongoing administration that is required to be completed on your behalf to ensure you receive your entitlements. Unfortunately, this is additional work that is outside your current Notch Above Bookkeeping Package.

Please see the details of our offer here.

We are looking forward to managing this process for you.  To ensure we schedule time to register your business during the application open period, please accept so we can schedule in your business application for JobKeeper in our next week’s workload.

Got any questions? Just contact Notch Above Bookkeeping for further clarification on the new subsidy on 1300 015 130.

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panicked man; bookkeeping woman

JobKeeper – Waiting on Release of Further Details

No doubt you have questions around the JobKeeper payment and how this works

As you probably are aware the Bill has been passed but as yet we do not have any further details. 

We believe this information will be released shortly and as soon as we know more can let you know.

In the meantime, we encourage you to register your intention to apply for JobKeeper at https://www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment/ if your business has, or expect it will, experience a drop in turnover.

We can assist with the practicalities of claiming and submitting payment to your employees once the details are released.

There appears to be three areas of work being:

  1. Are my employees eligible?
  2. Has my business experienced a 30% decline in turnover?
  3. What reporting is needed ongoing to receive this payment?

Again, we will let you know what is required when we know more.

Have an enjoyable week ahead and one of our team will be in touch with further details as they come to hand.

Got any questions? Just contact Notch Above Bookkeeping for further clarification on the new subsidy on 1300 015 130.

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notch above bookkeeping

Practical Positivity

Stay safe. Do what you can with what you have. Control what’s in your control.

A framework to help business owners to see their situation through a different lens and move upward.

Help as many people as you can through this period with any spare resources you have, whether that’s time, money or love.

This will not last forever, nor for very long and we will get through this… together… and be stronger on the other side.

  1. MELTDOWN. If you need to have a meltdown, do it. Negative emotions will never go away, only fester. Don’t be ashamed to have a cry and a bit of a panic.
  2. ESTABLISH A BETTER VISION OF THE FUTURE. You and your clients have possibly got quite a negative vision of what’s to come. Armageddon, recession, etc. This needs to change. Start to vision the other side.
  3. SCENARIO PLANNING. Produce a cash flow forecast for the next 3 months. Imagine the worst scenario in terms of sales, then plan for it. Maybe you get no revenue for the next three months? The reality will be much better, but plan for it anyway. This will be a dip. It won’t last forever.
  4. CUT BACK. Cut on any costs that are maybe excessive. You need to be careful with this bit. Don’t strip back operations completely, only those that seem excessive. I don’t mean staff here AT ALL if it can be helped.
  5. GALVANISE YOUR TEAM. Communicate your better vision of the future. They are on this mission with you. They have probably had the same panics that you’ve had. Explain that you’re going to get through this together. The reason we’re cutting back (in the step above) is to preserve your team.
  6. BUILD BACK INTO THE FOUNDATIONS. This is where we look at things you may have been neglecting. Systems, processes, getting your pricing right, marketing. Whatever it is you need to do, build back into these key systems. Some of the peripheral things (maybe small jobs on your to-do list), they aren’t important in times like now. Work on the fundamentals.
  7. SET UP AS A LEADER. This is your time. If your team are working from home, get them fired up, have daily calls, keep everyone positive.
  8. EXPLORE OPPORTUNITIES. What opportunities do you have now to give value to your clients or customers? For your clients, this could be digitisation of your product. It could be new products, new markets.
  9. MARKETING. Don’t be aggressive with selling. Start to build relationships. Be there for your community and the clients or customers that you serve. Invest in long term nurturing processes.

Final Thoughts

These are times when we need to stay calm and rely on reliable news sources and information from State and Australian Government websites. What you see on social media may be panicky and unreliable information – stay away from this!

There are still deadlines we will need to meet for you so that you can receive the Government Stimulus Package amounts that you are entitled to.

Got any questions? Just contact us for further clarification on the new subsidy on 1300 015 130.

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Source James Ashford