Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this newsletter. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se. Also changes in legislation may occur quickly. We therefore recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas.
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Please contact us if you wish to discuss how the points raised in this edition specifically affect you.
JobKeeper comes to an end
The ATO has advised that the final JobKeeper payment will be processed in April 2021.
Enrolled businesses do not have to do anything when the program closes, although they will need to complete their final March monthly business declaration by 14 April 2021.
Also, once a business is no longer claiming JobKeeper Payments, it may start to be eligible to receive the JobMaker Hiring Credit for any additional employees that started employment on or after 7 October 2020.
ATO loses case on JobKeeper and backdated ABNs
On 24 March 2021, the Full Federal Court handed down its decision in a case concerned with the requirement that an entity claiming JobKeeper must have had an ABN on 12 March 2020, or a later time allowed by the ATO.
The Registrar of the Australian Business Register had reactivated the relevant entity's previously cancelled ABN after 12 March 2020, but with a backdated effective date on or before 12 March 2020.
The Court held that backdating an ABN to have an effective date on or before 12 March 2020 did not satisfy the requirement for the entity to have had an ABN on 12 March 2020.
However, the Court also held that the ATO's decision not to allow the entity a "later time" to have an ABN was a "reviewable decision", and that the Commissioner's discretion should be exercised in these circumstances (i.e., the Court held that the entity should be entitled to JobKeeper).
The Court's decision does not change the need to satisfy all of the other eligibility requirements.
Editor: Where the ATO has postponed finalising a decision regarding a taxpayer's eligibility for JobKeeper (and/or the cash flow boost) pending the Court's decision, the ATO will contact the affected taxpayer shortly to provide them with an update.
First criminal conviction for JobKeeper fraud
A person claiming to be a sole trader was convicted of three counts of making a false and misleading statement to the Commissioner of Taxation, in order to receive $6,000 in JobKeeper payments to which he was not entitled, as he was not operating a genuine business and he had already agreed to be nominated by his full-time employer for the allowance.
The ATO has a dedicated integrity strategy that supports the administration of the Government’s stimulus packages, with robust and efficient compliance systems that make it very easy to identify fraudulent behaviour and stop it.
ATO Deputy Commissioner Will Day said, “Since the first payments were made in April, the ATO has monitored every payment, every day, every month, and will continue to do so until the last payment is made."