NSW businesses receiving JobSaver will now be required to confirm that they have continued to experience a decline in turnover of at least 30 per cent and have maintained their employee headcount starting from the fortnight of 13-26 September 2021.
Service NSW will be removing the fortnight from 30 August to 12 September 2021 from its confirmation web page by the end of this week.
The Tax Institute’s senior advocate, Robyn Jacobson, said the removal of that fortnight would not affect payments, but would instead allow businesses to confirm their eligibility for the 13-26 September fortnight without having to reconfirm the previous fortnight.
“This is a sensible approach to allay the widespread confusion of businesses, NFPs and accountants over the past couple of weeks, particularly the last few days,” Ms Jacobson told Accountants Daily.
“Importantly, if a business or NFP has reconfirmed their eligibility for the fortnight from 30 August to 12 September 2021, but has since realised they have not experienced a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more due to the Public Health Order, they should contact Service NSW to advise they are not eligible.
“The business or NFP will need to repay any overpayments. Service NSW will advise the mechanism for repaying overpayments soon. In the meantime, sit tight and ensure your clients set aside the funds so they can be readily repaid when required.”
The confirmation comes after the NSW government abruptly announced its fortnightly retesting policy change earlier this month in an attempt to avoid following in the footsteps of the federal JobKeeper wage subsidy program that has been accused of supporting businesses that never suffered a decline in turnover.
A joint coalition of professional accounting, tax and bookkeeping bodies ultimately managed to secure a number of concessions for practitioners and businesses, including more flexible retesting options, and the ability for businesses that remain closed to simply indicate that they remain eligible without a calculation of decline in turnover.
Applications for the JobSaver payment and COVID-19 Micro-Business Grant will close after 11:59pm on 18 October, while the NSW COVID-19 Business Grant program will close after 11:59pm on 1 October.