In these difficult and unprecedented times, it is understandable that there is confusion around the JobKeeper arrangements. Rushing to meet needs of businesses affected by COVID19 the Government, Treasury, the ATO have miscalculated the numbers involved. Rushing to meet an immediate demand for cash/funds to keep their businesses afloat may have led many JobKeeper applicants to also make mistakes when completing forms and the like. Some of this haste may have overlapped, incorrectly completed applications led to the overestimation.
In this instance it is arguable that mistakes or errors occur at three levels. The first is a misunderstanding of the instructions. This may be because the user does not understand the intent of the arrangement or the concepts that support it. The second level of error may be in actual completion of a form or computing the data that is supposed to be entered. (An administrative or clerical error.) The third misinterpretation, which is unfortunate, is a deliberate attempt to manipulate the system. As we have seen with the overall JobKeeper system these mistakes are not necessarily discrete.
Recent commentary has highlighted that the ATO will be investigating errors or misinterpretations of JobKeeper payments. Last Sunday’s Age carried a headline “Employers on notice over JobKeeper rorts” suggesting that the ATO will pursue incorrect claims. A recent Accountant’s Daily article contained guidance from respected tax practitioner Sue Williamson suggesting that accountants and tax agents develop a defence file be prepared (the story of what you did and why relating to JobKeeper).
So, if you think that you have, or could have, made an error in claiming JobKeeper what do you do?
DTC is preparing some guidance to assist your thinking in firstly determining whether the ATO could perceive that you have made an error and secondly what to do about it.
Contact us today for a FREE 30 minute consultation with one of our Senior Consultants.