Audit Potential for JobKeeper Payments

We do not know what level of future ATO audit activity relating to JobKeeper will be undertaken.

According to The Financial Review, the take up of JobKeeper has been more than expected.

To qualify for JobKeeper, a business must record or credibly forecast at least a 30% decline in monthly or quarterly revenue between March 30 and September 27.   Once eligible, a business receives the $1500 a fortnight payment for each worker for six months.

It is predicted that the ATO will target firms that artificially contrive their turnover to qualify for the wage subsidies.

The cash flow boost has been well received by struggling businesses, but Tax Institute Senior Tax Counsel Bob Deutsch said that the scheme was open to exploitation.

It is therefore essential to  fully document the basis that has been used to determine JobKeeper eligibility.

The ATO has published an integrity rule aimed at stopping “contrived and artificial arrangements” that technically satisfy the eligibility requirements, but have been implemented for the sole or dominant purpose of accessing a JobKeeper payment.

So, the message is clear, that the basis upon which each business has determined its eligibility needs to be retained on file.  In that way, if the ATO ask questions later, the basis of determining eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment will be readily available to satisfy the ATO auditors.





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