Services NSW JobSaver – what is turnover?

NOTE: Services NSW continually update their site to clarify the meaning of terms. We recommend you visit their site and Q & A as the attached may be out of date.

https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/jobsaver-payment-guidelines#decline-in-turnover

We recommend you visit Services NSW for full details about the JobSaver program https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/jobsaver-payment#eligibility.

The following are general comments by the author with respect to confusion about testing turnover and what turnover actually is for the purpose of JobSaver.

General Eligibility at 16/8/2021 for JobSaver:

  • have an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have been operating in NSW on 1 June 2021
  • have had an aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $250 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020
  • have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the public health order over a minimum 2-week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown (began 26 June and due to end 28 August 2021) compared to:
  • the same period in 2019, or
  • the same period in 2020, or
  • the 2-week period immediately before lockdown began (12 June to 25 June 2021)
  • for employing businesses, maintain your employee headcount from 13 July 2021 while you continue to receive JobSaver payments
  • for non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, show that the business is the primary income source for the associated person. If you have more than one non-employing business, you can only claim payments for one business.

NOTE:

Aggregated Turnover is defined in Div 328 of the ITAA

Aggregated turnover is the sum of the following:

  • your annual turnover for the income year
  • the annual turnover of any entity connected with you, for that part of the income year that the entity is connected with you
  • the annual turnover of any entity that is an affiliate of yours, for that part of the income year that the entity is affiliated with you.

Both Australian entities and foreign entities can be connected or affiliated with you. This means your aggregated turnover must include the annual turnover of both Australian and foreign entities for the period they are connected or affiliated with you.

Now the tricky part, what is GST turnover?

Services NSW require a decline in turnover. These terms are defined as follows:

Decline in turnover: an entity satisfies the decline in turnover test for a fortnight if the entity’s current GST turnover for the fortnight falls by at least 30% compared to the relevant comparison period.

Current GST turnover has the meaning given by the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) and the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth).

Unfortunately it appears that Services NSW haven’t learnt from JobKeeper as from a purely technical perspective GST Turnover is highly technical. For example:

Bob runs a high end Clothing Store and accounts for GST (attribution) on a cash basis. From 1 July 2021 his shop is shut and remains shut. No sales are made. During the period of July a handful of customers pay him for prior month purchasers. Question: has bob had and GST turnover during the month of July?

To answer this question you need top delve into the GST Act:

a)         Section 188-15  “ Current GST Turnover” is defined and includes the sum of the values of all the supplies that you have made or likely to make during the 12 months ending at the endo f that month ….

Supplies are defined in s9-10:

b)         Supplies are defined in Section 9-10 of the GST Act.  Supplies can include entry into an obligation to do anything (9-10(2)(g)).

Has Bob made a supply in July? It would appear it would be difficult to have made a supply if his shop is shut. Whilst he has collected GST from prior period sales (or supplies), it may be risky to rely on ‘cash’ received for the purpose of determining whether a supply has been made as the cash versus accrual method is mainly for the purpose of attributing (i.e. allocating GST to a BAS).

Hopefully Services NSW will provide further guidance as there is risk taxpayers may be incorrectly calculating declines in turnover.

As this was overly technical (during JobKeeper) the ATO released alternate tests and the ability to utilise BAS’s for the purpose of determining a drop in income.

DISCLAIMER: the above is not taxation advice and should not be relied upon. If you need assistance from a tax professional please call 61 2 82640755.

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