Retesting Eligibility for Covid Assistance

UPDATE 29/9/2021 If you log on to ServiceNSW and are asked to confirm turnover from 30th Aug to 12th Sept this is a website error which should be fixed by the end of the week, when hopefully those dates will disappear. Please continue to log on regularly to check for the fix.

UPDATE 27/9/2021 Having spoken to a few clients today, it appears that when you log on to ServiceNSW/business/overview you may not all be seeing the same thing. Some are being asked to retest for the 30 Aug to 12 Sept, and some are not being asked to do anything at all. These appear to be website errors so please log on every few days to check for the fix.

In the past week there has been much negotiating between the accounting bodies and service NSW over the surprise introduction of “retesting turnover” to ensure that there is a somewhat workable solution. It seems we are there, but it is still a moving target, subject to change.

By way of background, the NSW government want to ensure that support is targeted to those businesses still genuinely in need. The accounting bodies are trying to ensure their members can actually assist clients, given the work load we already have with normal lodgments etc. I guess GNSW are also trying to avoid being in the embarrassing situation that the federal government now find themselves in, where companies received millions in Jobkeeper and then made massive profits.

Retesting of turnover is relevant for businesses who are receiving either Jobsaver or The Microbusiness Grant. It is not relevant for individuals receiving Disaster Payments based on lost hours, so if you are only claiming these you can stop reading now.

So, into the detail. JobSaver recipients first retesting period is 13th Sept to 26th Sept and Microbusiness Grant recipients first retesting period is 20 Sept to 3 Oct. Note they are not the same – I don’t know why.

For those that need to retest, you need to log onto Service NSW every fortnight (or use the link they have emailed you already) and declare two things. One that your staff headcount remains unchanged (ie you have not sacked anyone or made them formally redundant) and second, that your turnover remains 30% down. This is where it gets a bit more complicated.

There are 3 possible methods to work out your comparison turnover fortnight for the purposes of retesting. However, once you use a method you must continue to use it until this fun and games ends. You cannot change methods so choose wisely.

Method 1 – the simple method. You compare your turnover in each of the new 2 week testing periods to the 2019 “14 day” turnover $ number used in the original application. This means you don’t need to do further turnover calculations on 2019 data as you already have this number on your original letter. You just need to know your turnover each current fortnight (using the same cash/accruals method that you use for gst). If there has been a 30% drop you are still eligible.

Method 2 – the more complicated method. You compare your current 2 week turnover to the same dates in 2019. For example, the first testing period for JobSaver is 13th Sept 2021 to 26th Sept 2021 so you compare this to 13st Sept 2019 to 26th Sept 2019. If there has been a 30% drop you are still eligible.

Method 3 – the least common method. If you used the period 12th June to 25th June 2021 as your original comparison period, which you may have done if you were a new business, you HAVE to use this same fortnight as the comparison for ALL future turnover testing periods. If there has been a 30% drop you are still eligible.

Here are some common questions – feel free to add others in the comments box below and I will answer and publish them.

When must I do this by? You can’t do this until the day after the end of the fortnight, as you will not know your turnover, unless of course you are completely shut and have no turnover. You can then declare your eligibility at any point after the end of the fortnight until the scheme closes. You can wait and do several fortnights together. However, you will not get paid until 5 days after you have made your declaration.

What if I don’t qualify this fortnight but I will next fortnight? You will not get paid for the fortnight you are not eligible, however there is no need to complete anew application the following fortnight. You just log onto Service NSW and complete the declaration for the fortnight that you are once again eligible. It is expected that businesses will drop in and out of the scheme.

What if I invoice monthly? You calculate your fortnightly turnover by dividing your monthly turnover by 31 (even if this not the number of days in the month) and multiplying by 14.

Is JobSaver and Micro BusinessGrant still open to new applications? Yes it is.

Clear as mud I hear you say!

Of course if you need assistance with these calculations just get in touch any time. Although I think I will be instigating a bottle of wine (red) in the letter box surcharge if you want your calculations done over a weekend!

One final point, it is important to note that once the turnover calculations are done each fortnight, the owner of each business needs to log onto ServiceNSW and tick the various boxes. It is not something we can do for you.

Lindsay 0413 952 180

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