ATO JobKeeper and COVID-19 Compliance Guidelines Updated

The ATO has published further information on its approach to compliance in relation to the government stimulus measures for COVID-19.

They reiterate that they will help business owners and tax practitioners who have made unintentional mistakes to fix them without penalty. 
The compliance approach is definitely aimed at business owners who are trying to take advantage of the system for illegal financial benefit.

Deliberate exploitation of the system may be pursued by the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce

The ATO has also updated Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2020/4 with further information about schemes to unlawfully obtain access to the JobKeeper payment. See AAT’s May e-News & Views edition for more details on JobKeeper compliance. 

ATO Current Focus

In addition to the existing schemes the ATO is investigating there are several new issues that are being examined:

  • Employees who have been deliberately excluded from receiving JobKeeper when they should have been included by employers in the ‘one in all in’ policy. 
  • Unusual activity such as revising activity statements to falsify GST turnover.
  • Employees receiving JobKeeper from more than one employer. Note that the form asks employees to declare that they are claiming JobKeeper from one employer only, so the employee would be pursued by the ATO for repayment of extra amounts and any penalties (if applied)—not the employer.
  • Multiple eligible business participants for the one entity.
Known or suspected illegal behaviour can be reported to the ATO via the anonymous ATO tip-off form, the ATO app or phone 1800 060 062. Visit the ATO webpage for making a tip-off for full details of what and how to report.