We have been working closely with the Tax Institute of Australia and ServiceNSW to fine tune the details on the new JobSaver and MicroGrant testing regime.
Here’s what it means for you:
The professional accounting bodies have now finalised their consultation with ServiceNSW regarding the retesting requirement for JobSaver and MicroGrant.
The policy intent of the NSW Government is that funding only goes to businesses in genuine need, and as their business recovers, funding ceases.
As JobSaver and MicroGrant are recurring fortnightly payments, the NSW Government has confirmed that businesses should retest to continue to receive payments under both programs.
Businesses will continue to be eligible for support if they continue to experience a decline in turnover of >30%.
If you are registered for JobSaver or MicroGrant, you will receive a fortnightly email from ServiceNSW, asking you to reconfirm your eligibility for JobSaver or MicroGrant.
These are expected to come to you late this week or early next week.
Requirement to Retest
A business will need to reconfirm its eligibility to continue to receive payment under:
JobSaver - for the period 13 September to 26 September 2021, then each ongoing fortnight
MicroGrant - for the period 20 September to 3 October 2021, then each ongoing fortnight
Each fortnight, the business will need to confirm that:
The employee headcount on 13 July 2021 stated in the initial application has been maintained; and
The business has continued to experience a decline in turnover of >30%
If your business is closed and cannot trade during the period due to the Public Health Orders, your business can confirm its eligibility without doing any further testing.
If your business is trading, it needs to be retested to determine whether it continues to experience a decline in turnover of >30% due to the Public Health Orders.
There are 3 options for testing and the same option must be used when reconfirming the business’ eligibility for future fortnights:
OPTION 1 – Rolling Comparison Period:
If your initial comparison period was 2019 or 2020, use the same year, but the corresponding fortnight, as the current fortnight.
For example, if you initially compared the period 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 26 July to 8 August 2019, and you are now testing 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period is 13 September to 26 September 2019.
You cannot use 13 September to 26 September 2020 as your comparison period in this example.
This comparison will continue to roll forward for future fortnights.
OPTION 2 – Static Comparison Period:
If your initial comparison period was in 2019 or 2020, use the same comparison period that was used in your initial application.
For example, if you initially compared the period 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 26 July to 8 August 2019, and you are now testing 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period remains 26 July to 8 August 2019.
This comparison period will remain fixed for all future periods.
OPTION 3 – Period 2 Weeks Prior to Lockdown:
If you used 12 June to 25 June 2021 as your initial comparison period, you must use that same period that was used in the initial application.
For example, if you initially compared the period 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 12 June to 25 June 2021, and you are now testing 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period remains 12 June to 25 June 2021.
This comparison period will remain fixed for all future periods.
You will not need to provide any additional evidence or attach any documentation when reconfirming your eligibility.
You will however need to keep adequate records to show evidence of your eligibility to support your claim.
The person making the declaration on behalf of the business will also need to declare that:
They understand that it is an offence under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) to provide false or misleading information to a public authority; and
They understand that they will receive fortnightly communications from ServiceNSW about the business’ eligibility for JobSaver payments.
What Happens If Your Business Fails the Retest
JobSaver is not a one-off test. As eligibility will be reconfirmed each fortnight, businesses may fluctuate between qualifying and not qualifying from one fortnight to the next. A business can exit and re-enter JobSaver multiple times.
If the test is failed for one fortnightly period, you keep retesting for future fortnights.
Other Important Details
EVERY business will need to test for the period 13 September to 26 September 2021 – this is because:
If you are eligible, and don’t complete this declaration, you will be paid the next September payment, but won’t be able to complete the following declaration of 27 September to 10 October and will hence get no more payments
If you are ineligible and don’t complete this declaration you will be paid the next September payment, but will then be subject to integrity rules for this period and will have to repay the funds later
The reconfirmation option will remain open for each payment period for the duration of the program
Payment will be received within five business days of a business reconfirming eligibility
September payments will continue even if a business doesn’t reconfirm eligibility, however any payments after that will only be processed once eligibility is confirmed
A business can delay reconfirming for a particular fortnight until the business has finalised its month-end accounting records
A business can reconfirm multiple fortnights in one go
The ServiceNSW business account will show the fortnights for which confirmation is still required
What You Need To Do Now
Ensure your business invoicing is kept up to date in your accounting system
Ensure your bank is reconciled up to date, particularly for income received
You may need to communicate with your bookkeeper to ensure that your accounts are up to date
Who does this testing:
o If your business is closed and you are 100% sure that you have a >30% decline in revenue – complete the fortnightly declaration yourself
o If your business is trading, we recommend that we complete this testing for your business. This will ensure that the most advantageous testing period is used for you and that you have the support that you need in case your eligibility is questioned by ServiceNSW.
We understand the onerous need on your business of this fortnightly retesting and will make it as simple for you as we can.
Your client manager will be contacting you directly to address your individual circumstances, so that we can continue to support you during this lockdown period.
If you have any questions, as always, please contact one of the team at Sullivan Dewing.