Here is some GOOD NEWS regarding the Job keeper enrolment extension and a WARNING from the ATO.

Obviously the government wants to :

  • Help people, businesses and the economy in this time of need.
  • They will be in significant debt after this crisis
  • To repay this debt they will look for revenue from audit activity to enforce compliance with tax and other laws.

Below are some ATO updates regarding these 2 matters.


1.Extension of time to enrol for the Job Keeper scheme

The Commissioner has extended the time to enrol for the initial Job Keeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.

  • If you enrol by 31 May you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights.
  • This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.
  • For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), they will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by 8 May 2020.
  • If you do not pay your staff by this date, you will not be able to claim Job Keeper for the first two fortnights.


2.  Schemes     (Extracted from the ATO website)

You will not be eligible for cash flow boosts if you (or a representative) have entered into or carried out a scheme for the purpose of:

  • becoming entitled to cash flow boosts when you would otherwise not be entitled,
  • increasing the amount of the cash flow boosts.

Schemes could include:

  • artificially restructuring or arranging your business to meet the eligibility criteria
  • increasing wages paid in a particular month to maximise the cash flow boost amount.

Any sudden changes to the characterisation of payments you make may prompt us to investigate whether the payments are in fact wages. This could trigger an ongoing liability to pay FBT, PAYG withholding, super guarantee contributions and other employee-related costs.

If the payments are wages, we may consider the characterisation of past payments, including whether:

  • they should have been subject to PAYG withholding
  • super guarantee contributions should have been made
  • you have FBT obligations that have not yet been met.


The arrangements that concern us include:

  • artificially restructuring businesses to gain access to the cash flow boost
  • artificially changing the character of payments to salary and wage to maximise the cash flow boost
  • inflating reported withholding amounts to maximise the cash flow boost
  • resurrecting dormant entities or phoenixing
  • making false statements or fraudulent attempts to create an entitlement.

If we find you have entered into or carried out a scheme with the aim of becoming entitled to the cash flow boost, or increasing the amounts of the cash flow boost, you will be required to repay the entire amount back to the Commissioner.

Significant penalties and interest charges can apply to overpayments of the cash flow boost arising from schemes.

Sanctions under criminal law may also apply to fraudulent claims.

Please call if you would like to discuss.

Adrian and VJC team

General Advice warning: the information in this article is general in nature, it is not advice specific to your needs. If you want to act upon the information in this article then you should seek advice from a qualified professional. VJC WM accepts no liability to any party for acting from this information unless they have sought advice in a formal engagement with VJC WM for this purpose.