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NSW pushes ahead with JobSaver retest amid compliance talks

Business

The NSW government will move ahead with its plan to require businesses to reconfirm their eligibility for JobSaver and the Micro-Business Grant as the accounting profession makes inroads in reducing the compliance burden for businesses and advisers alike.

By Jotham Lian 12 minute read

The development comes after the NSW government abruptly announced plans last Friday to require businesses to reaffirm their decline in turnover every fortnight to remain eligible for JobSaver payments and the Micro-Business Grant. It then agreed to a two-week grace period after backlash from the accounting profession.

Ongoing discussions between NSW Treasury officials and the joint professional bodies have revealed that reconfirmation is seen by the NSW government as a non-negotiable and important integrity measure.

The state government, however, is currently open to suggestions being put forward by the joint professional bodies that aim to lessen the compliance burden for practitioners and their clients.

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Some of the models being considered include a simply worded declaration that a business owner can make themselves where their business remains closed, or if their business is trading at a significantly reduced level clearly in line with a 30 per cent decline in turnover.

“Our goal has been to achieve an outcome where our members are called-in mainly to assist those clients whose fortunes have improved to an extent that their continued eligibility is line-ball,” said Chartered Accountants ANZ, CPA Australia, Institute of Public Accountants, The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and The Tax Institute, in a joint statement.

“The joint bodies have focused on ways to ameliorate the compliance burden associated with the re-confirmation task, knowing that many accountants, tax and BAS agents lack the capacity to undertake fortnightly re-testing of turnover decline.

“We are also mindful that many struggling NSW business cannot bear the cost of engaging an adviser to re-test turnover decline.

“The Joint Bodies await the outcome of their representations and will inform their members as soon as possible as further information comes to hand.”

Under the latest guidelines published by Service NSW, businesses will be required to ensure that each fortnight they are claiming for continues to experience at least a 30 per cent decline in turnover compared to the same period in either 2019, 2020, or the two-week period immediately before lockdown started.

The unexpected change has been described as an onerous and time-consuming task that accountants and bookkeepers will struggle to keep up with as they juggle tax time 2021 work, ongoing 2020 lodgements, and business-as-usual commitments.

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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

AUTHOR

Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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