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Goondiwindi region businesses may benefit from alternative JobKeeper criteria

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Businesses in the Goondiwindi region may be eligible for the Australian Government’s JobKeeper Payment through additional criteria that takes the impact of the drought into consideration.

The Honourable Lawrence Springborg, Mayor of the Goondiwindi region, met with Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud last week to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on businesses that are already struggling due to drought and did not meet the current JobKeeper Payment criteria. The Goondiwindi region has been drought-declared since 2014.

The Mayor today confirmed that an alternative turnover test is available through the Australian Taxation Office, which may help businesses in the Goondiwindi region to qualify for the JobKeeper Payment. The alternate test allows businesses to exclude drought concessions in their income and to use 2018 business activities as a basis for turnover comparison.

“The ‘basic’ test criteria for the JobKeeper Payment is a 30% reduction in turnover compared to the same month or quarter in 2019,” Cr Springborg explained.

“However, for some of our local businesses, that 30% would be compared to an already struggling 2019 business figure due to drought. On paper, it may look like they’ve reduced their turnover by ten or 20% since COVID-19, but in reality there is simply no margin left for reduction,” the Mayor said.

“It is absolutely imperative that as much as possible, businesses in our region are able to maintain their current staffing levels and service of product. To that end, I want to make every business in the Goondiwindi region aware of this alternative test for the JobKeeper Payment, as it seems to be little-known.”

Goondiwindi Regional Council recommends that businesses seek the advice of a qualified accountant to discuss their own financial circumstances.

For more information about the alternative test, visit www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/In-detail/Applying-the-turnover-test/?page=3#Alternative_test.

Published: 29th April 2020