To qualify, an employer must demonstrate that its GST turnover has fallen by the following percentage compared to the same comparison period in 2019:
- 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
- 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or
- 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools).
You will need to keep evidence and sufficient records to demonstrate how you calculated your projected GST turnover during the 2020 turnover test period, and your basis for estimating that it would fall by the required percentage.
Your projected GST turnover during the 2020 turnover test period is the sum of the value (GST exclusive sale price) of all the sales you have made, or are likely to make during that period.
For the purpose of determining sales likely to be made, the ATO will accept a calculation based on a genuine business plan, accounting budget or some other reasonable estimate based on the evidence about the projected facts and circumstances for the remainder of the turnover test period.
Relevant evidence that would support a prediction of sales likely to be made may include:
- a decline in sales during the turnover test period or since 1 March 2020 as a result of government COVID-19 restrictions
- customers cancelling or modifying existing contracts for sales on or from 1 March 2020
- being required to close or pausing the business due to government COVID-19 restrictions
- delays in being able to get access to trading stock sourced from overseas on or from 1 March 2020
- evidence of your business’s reliance on tourism
- any consequential effect on the price of what you supply, for example, the effect on the market value of new property being sold by a developer
- information known to the business, whether or not publicly available
- economic forecasts undertaken by a reputable organisation that are relevant to your type of business
- the likely timing of government COVID-19 restrictions being lifted for your type of business based on government announcements.
According to the ATO, when people make a good-faith estimate to comply and a good-faith decision that they’re eligible, the Commissioner will be very understanding and sympathetic to their position, particularly where they have passed the benefit of the JobKeeper payment to their employees What the legislation, and the ATO are asking of businesses is to make a “good faith effort”. When the ATO considers a good faith effort has been made, even if it’s slightly wrong (i.e. less than the required downturn percentage), the ATO will not seek repayments of JobKeeper or apply penalties.