Update: Changes to JobSaver Eligibility Requirements
The changes to JobSaver eligibility requirements have the potential to create a red-tape headache for business owners.
The NSW Government tightened the eligibility criteria for the JobSaver program to require small and medium businesses to check that their operations meet turnover eligibility criteria for each fortnight. However, significant pushback from professional bodies has resulted in a two-week grace period after business owners, accountants and tax advisors were blindsided by the announcement.
According to an email sent from Services NSW on Friday 10 September, businesses would be required to submit a fortnightly update proving that they continue to experience at least a 30% decline in turnover and that they have maintained their employee count to continue to receive JobSaver payments.
The surprise changes have saw businesses and professional advisors mount fierce pushback, as they feared the additional load on small business owners and their advisors would significantly add to the pressures already being felt by business owners grappling to keep their businesses afloat amid extended lockdowns.
Professional bodies CPA Australia and the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers were able to secure a two-week grace period, underscoring the lack of consultation from the NSW Government as it sought to tighten the JobSaver program to avoid the issues that occurred with the Federal JobKeeper program. The $90 billion JobKeeper program continued to pay organisations whose bottom line improved until it tweaked the rules to reflect actual decline in turnover and retesting on a quarterly basis.
Professional advisors are urging the NSW Government to consult with the profession to strike the right balance of maintaining the program's integrity while at the same time ensuring that accountants and bookkeepers were able to support clients with compliance requirements for JobSaver payments.
While Services NSW has agreed a grace period for the first two weeks, it is only an interim measure. According to Accountants Daily, the professional accounting bodies are expected to engage with the NSW Government this week to "… consider workarounds for this new fortnightly eligibility retest… " as JobSaver is already onerous for both business and their accountants.
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This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.