COVID-19 JobKeeper Payments For The Self Employed

JobKeeper payments will be available to self employed people, even if they don't pay themselves a "wage" through the PAYG system.

The notable eligibility requirements include:

  • the business must have made a taxable supply (which is likely if the business was actively trading, even if it turned a loss)
  • turnover has declined by 30% (for most entities)

Different percentages apply to the required reduction in turnover for very large entities, or non-profits, but for SME's the required reduction in turnover is 30%.

In determining whether a business has made a taxable supply, you apply the definition provided by the GST act. Even if the entity is not registered for GST, the definition of "taxable supply" from the GST Act is still applied, as though the entity were registered for GST.

As at the time of writing, the JobKeeper rules have been released, but the ATO is yet to provide any guidance as to how they will administrate the payments. It's possible or likely that the ATO will apply additional requirements.