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ATO issues compliance update for large business

The ATO is currently working closely with businesses to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements for JobKeeper payments and has found the majority of large businesses are doing the right thing.

ATO issues compliance update for large business
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  • Staff Reporter
  • September 15, 2020
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The Australian Taxation Office is reminding businesses that all applications for JobKeeper payments are checked, with the Tax Office currently engaged in a range of compliance activities to maintain the integrity of the program.

"Our compliance program aims to detect and deal with large businesses who have manipulated their projections or financial positions to access JobKeeper payments they aren't entitled to receive," the ATO said in a new notice. 

"We've focused our attention on the aggregated turnover and decline in turnover tests. Consistent with the JobKeeper provisions, we focus on ensuring the assumptions used by employers to make projections are reasonable, not on their actual results."

The ATO has found issues in businesses:

  • that are part of SGE groups and are incorrectly calculating their aggregated turnover (applying a 30 per cent decline in turnover instead of the 50 per cent decline in turnover);
  • applying for JobKeeper payments prior to their nomination period;
  • projecting GST turnover at the economic group level rather than entity level; and
  • incorrectly calculating GST turnover, with common errors including excluding irregular GST turnover amounts or using general sales rather than GST turnover.

The ATO has also seen businesses not keeping adequate records to support their JobKeeper enrolment, and is encouraging businesses to review its best practice governance for JobKeeper payments and improve their records where necessary.

"We remain committed to supporting large businesses receiving JobKeeper. If you've made an honest mistake or are experiencing difficulties, we will help fix the error and assist you," the ATO said. 

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