By Ross Higgins, Partner
A legislative instrument was registered by the Commissioner on 22 September, setting out the revised alternative tests for decline in turnover to qualify for JobKeeper fortnights from 28 September 2020 onwards.
The new alternative tests remain broadly in line with the original, with the same 7 circumstances available to entities where there is not an appropriate relevant comparison period in 2019. These include businesses that:
- started after the comparison period;
- acquired or disposed part of the business;
- restructured in a way which changed the entity’s turnover;
- had a substantial increase in turnover;
- were affected by drought or natural disaster;
- have an irregular turnover; and
- had sole traders or small partnerships that experienced sickness, injury or leave during the comparable period.
A key difference in the updated alternative tests is that current GST turnover is now used in place of projected GST turnover, in line with the basic decline in turnover test for the JobKeeper extension from 28 September, as explained in our JobKeeper update posted last week.
A number of favourable minor changes have been made to the rules going forward:
Substantial increase in turnover test
Entities that experienced a substantial increase in their current GST turnover will now be able to choose between using the period immediately before the turnover test period or before 1 March 2020.
Irregular turnover test
A similar change has been made for businesses looking to access the irregular turnover test, with a choice of now using the period immediately before the applicable turnover test period or before 1 March 2020.
For both the acquired and disposed of part of the business and restructure tests
The new alternative tests removes the requirement for entities with multiple acquisitions, disposals and restructures to use the period after the last of the sequential transactions.
Where an entity has had multiple acquisitions, disposals or a sequence of restructure transactions at or after the start of the relevant comparison period but before the applicable turnover test period, the entity may apply these tests to each acquisition, disposal or restructure separately.
Sole traders or small partnerships with sickness, injury or leave
The new alternative test for sole traders or partnerships affected by the sole trader or a partner not working for all or part of that period due to sickness, injury or leave has also been updated.
The revised test now uses the current GST turnover for the month immediately before the month in which the sole trader or partner did not work, rather than the turnover for the month immediately after the month in which they returned to work.
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