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In Trouble for JobKeeper Rort?

 

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has recently revealed that it is still owed millions of dollars from companies that have attempted to rort the JobKeeper wage subsidy, which expired on 31 March 2021.

Since the introduction of the JobKeeper wage subsidy a year ago, almost 3.8 million employees employed by more than 1 million businesses, have received more than $80 billion from the ATO in JobKeeper payments.

In an exclusive interview to ABC News, the ATO second commissioner Jeremy Hirschorn stated that the ATO has so far clawed back about $135 million JobKeeper payments, some from people deliberately acting to defraud the system.

Currently, some JobKeeper matters have been referred for criminal prosecution, with more under consideration.

There are also more than 140 cases reviewed for potentially fraudulent behaviour with 1 person already been convicted.

 

Fraudulent Behaviours

 

Some of the potentially fraudulent behaviours include:

  • Claiming JobKeeper payments for non-existent employees;
  • Suddenly having employees although historically having none;
  • Not having eligible employees; and
  • Not paying eligible employees the correct fortnightly amounts.

However, if you have sufficient evidence and reasons to support your decision to hire more employees or that payment of incorrect amounts have been ‘honest mistakes’, the ATO may not pursue you and if it does, you may be able to defend your actions.

In the past year, the ATO has agreed not to recoup $50 million from businesses who were found to have made ‘honest mistakes’ in their JobKeeper applications.

 

Contact Us

 

If you would like to know more about your rights and options if the ATO pursues you for JobKeeper rort or any other tax mischief, contact our tax specialists at Bambrick Legal today:

You can also read more about our Tax services here.

Related Blog – Tax Update: Budget 2021

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