The last few months have been an intense period of survival for many business owners, and it’s not over yet. This next phase will be one of inevitable scrutiny, particularly around JobKeeper entitlements. Here’s what you need to know.
Errors in JobKeeper
There are a number of errors which can result in wrongfully claiming JobKeeper payments. These include:
- Claiming JobKeeper for an employee who was not your employee on 1 March 2020. (It’s okay if they were, but were subsequently terminated or left, and you then rehired them)
- Not documenting support for your prediction of a 30%+ decline in turnover for your chosen period (eg, comparing your prediction for the month of April 2020 to actual turnover for the month of April 2019). Or the support documented is not credible
- Mis-applying the alternative decline in turnover tests for businesses that don’t have a comparable period in last year (eg, recently commenced or purchased business, businesses with volatile turnover)
- Claiming for an employee who has not returned their nomination form to you.
For the above, if you made the error, you’re not entitled to JobKeeper.
- Not paying the minimum $1,500 (before withholding tax) per fortnight to eligible employees.
If this last point applies to you, the ATO can allow you to make catch-up payments, but it’s intended for genuinely accidental underpayments.
What if your turnover wasn’t down by 30% or more?
When it comes to the 30% or more decline in turnover, if your prediction for the relevant time period was reasonable and supported, the test was passed. If the decline actually ended up being only 27%, it’s unlikely that the ATO will conduct a review.
However, if the actual decline in turnover was only 15%, there’s a good chance the ATO will conduct a review of how you came to your prediction, and will be looking into why it was so inaccurate.
If you’ve been receiving JobKeeper payments, but you’ve discovered you’re not entitled
You can voluntarily withdraw from the JobKeeper program at any time and repay JobKeeper amounts to which you were not entitled. We strongly recommend that if you find yourself in this situation, and do not genuinely qualify for JobKeeper payments, you should repay these amounts immediately. You’ll receive an interest bill, but there will probably be no further consequences. On the other hand, if you keep going, there is a high risk of getting caught, and the consequences can be very severe, including up to 10 years in prison.
If you’re uncertain on whether you should have received JobKeeper entitlements, talk to your trusted team at Greenhalgh Pickard today.
Here are some thoughts from us
There is still a lot of uncertainty around the future of our property market. Most forecasters are predicting a drop in property prices, but by just how much is still unknown. Whilst property only makes up around 13% of the total estimated...
As at the end of June 2020, Australian’s had accessed $25billion in early access Super, a Government scheme put in place to help people financially affected by the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. When the scheme first opened back on April 20,...
If you’ve been thinking of building a new home, you’ve probably heard about the HomeBuilder Grant, currently offered by the Morrison Government; a $25,000 grant to put towards a new build or a renovation. If you’ve never owned a home before, you’re also eligible for...
Contact Your Nearest Office
If you are interested in meeting with an accountant or lawyer regarding your business or commercial interests, please fill out the form to book an appointment or call (07) 5444 1022