JobKeeper Payment income reporting

If you get an income support payment from us, you must report any income you get. This includes JobKeeper Payment. Sole traders or those self employed, must report JobKeeper Payment as business income.

From 28 September 2020, you must start meeting mutual obligation requirements. This may apply to you if you get JobKeeper Payment and an income support payment, like JobSeeker Payment.

If your employer’s business is affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) they may be eligible for JobKeeper Payment. If they’re eligible, they’ll pay it to you as part of your usual wages.

If your employer is getting JobKeeper Payment for you, the current rate is $1500 before tax each fortnight. This applies until 27 September 2020. From 28 September 2020 there are changes to payment rates and eligibility rules for JobKeeper Payment.

Reporting JobKeeper income if you’re an employee

You need to report any income you or your partner have earned each fortnight. If you don’t, we may pay you too much and you’ll have a debt to pay back.

You can report income from JobKeeper Payment, including for past reporting periods, using either:

You won’t be able to use either of these to report your JobKeeper Payment income, the:

  • employment diary in your online account
  • timesheet in the Express Plus Centrelink app.

How to calculate JobKeeper income in each reporting period

We call the JobKeeper Payment income you get each fortnight your JobKeeper fortnight. Your JobKeeper fortnight and your Centrelink reporting period probably won’t be the same.

You’ll need to work out how many days you get JobKeeper Payment income in your Centrelink reporting period. This is so you can report your income correctly.

To help you work this out, check with your employer what JobKeeper fortnight they are paying you for. You can also find a list of JobKeeper fortnights on the Australian Taxation Office website.

If you’re getting JobKeeper for your whole 14 day Centrelink reporting period, report the entire amount your employer pays you. This will be the amount you’re paid before tax.

If you’re getting JobKeeper Payment income for part of your Centrelink reporting period, you’ll need to work out your daily rate. To do this, you need to divide the amount your employer is paying you before tax each JobKeeper fortnight by 10. This gives you a daily rate. Multiply the daily rate by the number of days you’re getting JobKeeper Payment income in your Centrelink reporting period. You’ll report this amount.

Example of reporting JobKeeper income until 27 September 2020

If the total amount you’re getting before tax for each JobKeeper fortnight is $1500, your daily rate will be $150. If you need to report JobKeeper income for 5 days in your Centrelink reporting period, you would multiply $150 by 5. You’ll report $750 in JobKeeper income.

When JobKeeper Payment rates will change

The JobKeeper Payment of $1,500 per fortnight is available until 27 September 2020. It’s been extended from 28 September 2020 until 3 January 2021 at a rate of $1,200 per fortnight. There will be a further extension from 4 January to 28 March 2021 at a rate of $1,000 per fortnight.

The extension of JobKeeper Payment will also apply for part time employees. This applies if you’ve worked less than 20 hours a week on average as at 1 July 2020. From 28 September 2020, the payment will be $750 per fortnight. There will be a further extension from 4 January to 28 March 2021 at a rate of $650 per fortnight.

Example of reporting JobKeeper income after 28 September 2020 (full time employee)

From 28 September 2020, the total amount you’re getting before tax for each JobKeeper fortnight is $1200. Your daily rate will be $120. If you need to report JobKeeper income for 5 days in your Centrelink reporting period, you would multiply $120 by 5. You’ll report $600 in JobKeeper income.

Example of reporting JobKeeper income after 4 January 2021 (part time employee)

From 4 January 2021, the total amount you’re getting before tax for each JobKeeper fortnight is $750. Your daily rate will be $75. If you need to report JobKeeper income for 5 days in your Centrelink reporting period, you would multiply $75 by 5. You’ll report $375 in JobKeeper income.

Example of reporting JobKeeper income after 4 January 2021 (part time employee)

From 4 January 2021, the total amount you’re getting before tax for each JobKeeper fortnight is $650. Your daily rate will be $65. If you need to report JobKeeper income for 5 days in your Centrelink reporting period, you would multiply $65 by 5. You’ll report $325 in JobKeeper income.

If you’re still working some hours, remember to include your hours worked. If you’re getting income from JobKeeper Payment but not working, report you’ve worked 0 hours.

What is a nil payment period

A nil payment period starts when you report income over a certain amount and it reduces your payment to $0. This includes your partner’s income.

Usually, a nil payment period can be up to 6 fortnights in a row. After 6 fortnights in a row, we’ll cancel your payment if your income is still too high. If you get a payment from us before the end of the 6 fortnights, we won’t cancel your payment.

If your nil payment period started between 30 March and 24 August 2020

The nil payment period temporarily changed due to coronavirus (COVID-19). This change meant you could have a $0 payment for more than 6 fortnights without us cancelling your payment. This only only applies if your nil payment period started between 30 March and 24 August 2020. In this case, if you haven’t received a payment of at least $1 from us by 16 November 2020, we’ll cancel your payment. This will happen on your first next payment date after 16 November 2020.

We won’t cancel it if you get a payment from us before 16 November 2020.

How to report JobKeeper back pay from your employer

If you get JobKeeper back pay from your employer, you need to report this. You’ll need to work out which Centrelink reporting periods your employer paid you JobKeeper Payment income. You may be able to report using:

You’ll need to call us on your regular payment line if any of these apply:

  • your back pay is for more than 12 weeks
  • you can’t update your employment income online
  • you’re not sure how to report your back pay.

Reporting JobKeeper income if you’re a sole trader or self employed

If you’re a sole trader or self employed, you must report JobKeeper Payments as business income. You’ll have to submit an updated Profit and Loss statement if there’s a change to your overall business profit.

If you don’t do this, you may owe us money that you’ll need to pay back.

Read more about income reporting.

Page last updated: 18 September 2020