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JobKeeper eligibility for farming businesses.

Please note this is general information only and should not to be taken as advice. If you have not yet applied for JobKeeper, this information should only be used as guidance to stimulate conversation.

For information that relates to your unique situation, you should seek advice from your accountant, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) or the Rural Financial Counselling Service.

The Federal Government is adding an additional $15 billion to the JobKeeper scheme which will continue until 28 March 2021.        

The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021.

From 28 September 2020, businesses seeking to claim the JobKeeper payment will need to demonstrate they have suffered a decline in turnover of 30 per cent over one quarter, instead of over multiple quarters, to qualify for the scheme’s extension.

However, for agricultural businesses who are unable to meet this, the ATO can apply alternative tests. Alternative tests may include if the entity was affected by drought or other natural disasters during the relevant comparison period.

Importantly for pig producers: An entity may be eligible for JobKeeper payments if they are anticipating a decrease in revenue. For example, if an entity has been affected by supply chain disruptions such as food service closures as a result of COVID-19.

Farming enterprises claiming the subsidy must pay at least $1,500 a fortnight (pre-tax) to their permanent, part-time and regular casual workers, even if staff previously earned less than this amount.

JobKeeper also allows businesses to claim for one eligible business participant in a family partnership.

More information can be found in this media release from the Prime Minister and Treasurer.  

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