ATO taking back wrongfully paid JobKeeper payments

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JobKeeper clawback begins

The ATO’s Second Commissioner, Jeremy Hirschhorn, stated that $120 million in JobKeeper payments payments was clawed back from ineligible businesses who made deliberate or reckless mistakes.

Mr Hirschhorn said that there does not appear to be widespread fraud across the Government’s stimulus measures, and most mistakes found are honest. So far JobKeeper has not been taken back from employers making honest mistakes. However these employers are prevented from making future claims.

In September, the ATO noted that compliance checks halted 55,000 JobKeeper applications at the very first stage, because they didn’t meet the eligibility criteria. Therefore $1bn in payments to more than 75,000 applicants were delayed for further review.

As of the start of November, eleven matters have been referred to Serious Financial Crime Taskforce operations. And around 50 matters have been referred for criminal investigation.

But overall, the Tax Commissioner stated, “the vast majority of Australians have done the right thing and only claimed the amounts they were entitled to.”

Make sure you consult with a registered tax agent about your JobKeeper payments. With regulations and criteria changing often, it is hard to keep up. But a quality accountant will be able to tell you what COVID-19 compensation you are eligible for. Get in touch with us if you would like help with this.

Read the full list of COVID-19 Assistance packages available to Australian businesses and individuals here.

Read more about JobKeeper here.