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Deadline for JobKeeper is extended. Xero has you covered

Posted 1 year ago in Advisors by Angus Capel
Posted by Angus Capel

If you’re one of the 800,000 Australian businesses interested in JobKeeper, be aware the window to enroll for the subsidy payments from end-March has been extended. You now have an extra month, as the ATO has set a deadline of 31 May. We’ve built new tools in Xero that make it simple for you to check your eligibility for relief, pay employees a wage subsidy, and file required reports to the tax office.

Our developers have worked around the clock for the past weeks to build these tools in close consultation with the ATO. The features are designed to streamline the process of applying for and processing government relief. It’s just the start of our efforts at Xero to make accessing government help easier, so stay tuned for further updates.

Here’s a brief overview of the steps to take, from getting started to processing JobKeeper payments to your employees.

1. Check whether your business is eligible with our turnover calculator
A key criteria for eligibility is showing that your business’s turnover has dropped by 30%, though there are exceptions. We’ve created a calculator in Xero that easily determines how much your revenue has changed over a set period of time.

2. Ensure you’ve set up STP and enrol your business with the ATO 

Single Touch Payroll is the simplest route to receiving a JobKeeper subsidy as you’ll be able to easily report each pay run to the ATO. If you’re not on STP, getting started is simple. Once you’re set up, head over to the ATO website to register your business for JobKeeper. 


3. Enroll employees who may be eligible for JobKeeper payments
Xero Payroll will compare the government’s eligibility criteria and data in Xero to suggest a list of employees who are likely to be eligible. To enroll them, head here and simply click “Start JobKeeper.” Select the fortnight in which you want each employee’s JobKeeper payment to start. While you have until 31 May to enroll, the ATO encourages you to do so by the end of April to ensure you receive your JobKeeper payments as soon as possible. Note the tax office plans to pay employers one month in arrears.

4. Report JobKeeper payments you’ve made to employees
We’ve added a new pay item, “JobKeeper Payment top up,” so that you can accurately report these payments to the ATO. You just need to add the item to your employee’s payslip. Note that businesses can now process payroll after 30 April and still receive a subsidy. Per the ATO: “For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), we will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by 8 May 2020.” The ATO also requires that you report details on your revenue and staff numbers each month, which Xero will help you do. You can learn more about processing payments here.

This is a brief overview, and we recommend getting in touch with your accountant, bookkeeper or other trusted advisor for detailed advice on the JobKeeper program. If you don’t have an advisor, be sure to visit the Xero directory to find one near you.


eva heath
April 28, 2020 at 11.27 am

but what happens if by mistake you started your employee on jobkeeper from the second fortnight instead of the first and its already been lodged with ato – can you update this to the correct date?

April 30, 2020 at 5.11 pm

i have paid an employee 1 month LSL 31.3.2020 , have also enrolled on job keeper for this employee, so it won’t show in the april 2020 2 x fortnights. Will we still get paid from ato or do I need to show LSL in each fortnight submission?

Pam Butcher
May 1, 2020 at 7.39 am

#jobkeeper Been trying for over a week. Need to change START date for JobKeeper from FN02 to FN01. Not getting a answer from support other they are working on it. Rang ATO and they stated that an “UPDATE EVENT” had to be processed and to contact software provider. Running out of time

Pam Butcher
May 1, 2020 at 7.41 am

STP was filed after the incorrect date had been selected so unable to “REVERT”

Beeny Atherton in reply to Pam Butcher Xero
May 7, 2020 at 10.00 am

Hi Pam, I understand that someone in my support team has been in touch to give you a hand. Don’t hesitate to get back in touch with us if there’s anything else we can help you with. Thanks!

Beeny Atherton in reply to Pam Butcher Xero
May 4, 2020 at 10.19 am

Hi Pam, thanks for getting in touch. I will follow this up with my Support Team immediately on your behalf to ask for something to give you a hand.

Rado Zezulak
May 7, 2020 at 5.51 pm

I’m very sorry, but your instructions conceal the fact that after enrolling employees through the added Xero feature and making STP payments, one still needs to identify these employees via ATO portal as well. The Xero enrollment only pre-fills this information.
I have just scrambled in a panic to fix this omition to get 3 green thicks on the ATO portal because I relied on the instructions conveyed in here being complete and accurate, which I don’t think they were. It appears to me that you have missed this step.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Rado Zezulak Xero
May 11, 2020 at 9.35 am

Hi Rado, thanks so much for your comment. I have shared your feedback with my team to have a look at urgently.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Rado Zezulak Xero
May 12, 2020 at 2.20 pm

Hi Rado – again, I’m sorry to hear you experienced some trouble enrolling your employees for JobKeeper payments. I did share your feedback with my team and they have informed me that in line with the ATO JobKeeper guide, if your business is using software with STP and has the JobKeeper feature (for example, Xero), your employee list won’t be loaded in the ATO Portal. Instead, the number of employees you’re claiming for will show. You simply need to confirm that this number matches the number of employees you have enrolled for JobKeeper and included in an STP filing through Xero. The ATO JobKeeper guide also mentions that when a business uses software that is STP enabled and has the JobKeeper feature, after confirming the number of employees at step 2 of the Monthly Declaration, they can move to Step 3 in the declaration. You can find more details on the ATO’s website, and we recommend reaching out to them directly if you need further clarification.

June 1, 2020 at 9.53 am

Hi, I seem to have missed the deadline to confirm my employees by May 31 (by hours) because I too assumed that by using xero the employees were identified. I didn’t realise I had to then go into the Business Portal and confirm them. I don’t remember seeing this on the instructions from Xero. Is there anything that Xero can do to fix this?? It is a very costly mistake!!!!

Beeny Atherton in reply to Yvonne Xero
June 2, 2020 at 9.33 am

Hi Yvonne, I’m so sorry – can you please raise a case with our support team via this link -> http://support.xero.com so that we can get in touch with you directly to give you a hand. I will also share your comment and your details with my team so that they can start to look into what we can do to help you. Thanks!

June 3, 2020 at 3.54 pm

I have done my payroll as per normal not using any JobKeeper code in any field. Does this mean that I need to redo all of my payrolls from the start of April (Or is this just a function for Xero to make it easier to identify)? I was under the assumption that as long as the amount is over the $750 pw and it goes through STP then there is no need to itemise it any further for ATO purposes.
Also, I have made an account under ‘other income’ in relation to reconciling the JobKeeper money as in comes into my account. Is there another way that I may not know about?

Beeny Atherton in reply to Olivia Xero
June 3, 2020 at 4.08 pm

Hi Olivia, sorry to hear that you’re having some trouble. Can you please raise a case with our support team via this link -> http://support.xero.com so that we can give you a hand directly. Thanks!

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