JobKeeper and Xero Payroll: How we’ll make it simple for you 

If you’re an Australian business, you may have heard about JobKeeper. The federal wage subsidy will be a lifeline for small businesses, and it will also add a layer of compliance. That’s why we’ll be enhancing Xero Payroll this month to make processing JobKeeper payments simple and let you focus on your business. 

Read on for a preview of what’s coming to Xero Payroll, with one caveat: the features below assume you’ve opted in to Single Touch Payroll (STP). If you’re not on STP, getting started is simple. Don’t delay, as STP will likely be the simplest route to receiving a JobKeeper subsidy.

How will I tell which employees are eligible for JobKeeper?

Xero Payroll will offer you a head start in identifying staff who may be eligible for the wage subsidy. It will compare the government’s eligibility criteria and data in Xero Payroll to suggest a list of employees. You’ll be able to modify this list by updating your employee records.

By identifying who’s eligible, you’ll help the ATO prepare to issue payments. And you’ll be able to choose when JobKeeper payments should start and end for each employee. Note the tax office plans to pay employers one month in arrears

How will I report JobKeeper payments that I’ve made?

Xero Payroll will soon help you process JobKeeper payments you’ve made to workers, including those made before JobKeeper was passed by Parliament. The software will create a pay item so that you can accurately report these payments to the ATO. You’ll just need to add the item to your employee’s payslip. 

We’ll provide a way to process the JobKeeper payment and report it to the ATO. Most of this will happen seamlessly in the background while you’re filing STP.

Recording JobKeeper payments via STP will do more than help you get paid faster. It will ensure your record keeping is clear and well-documented for peace of mind in the months and years to come.

But my circumstances are unusual!

We understand that not all employer-employee relationships will neatly fit the eligibility criteria outlined by the government.

We’ll be providing support pages for scenarios where the eligibility of an employee isn’t clear-cut. For example, maybe you terminated employees and then rehired them. Or perhaps you made JobKeeper payments early, in the expectation of being reimbursed. We’ll update these support pages as we learn more.

When will I see these changes in Xero Payroll?

We’re aiming to roll out these enhancements in the next few weeks. 

These are trying times, and we want you to know we’ve got your back. We’re listening to small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers on how we can help. We’re also working closely with the ATO to ensure you have a smooth experience with JobKeeper. Look for enhancements in Xero Payroll soon, and again be sure you’re opted-in to STP. It’s the simplest route to getting up and running with JobKeeper!

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