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ATO reveals JobKeeper compliance approach


The ATO has now released examples of JobKeeper schemes where it will devote its compliance resources to uncover unlawful arrangements.

By Jotham Lian 9 minute read

The Tax Office has now published Practical Compliance Guideline 2020/4, setting out how the ATO will apply its compliance resources to schemes that have been entered into to enable an entity to gain access to the JobKeeper payment or an increased amount of the payment.

The bill giving effect to the JobKeeper scheme specifically allows the Commissioner of Taxation to determine that an entity was never entitled to a payment and to recover the amount if he is satisfied that the entity had carried out a contrived scheme for the sole and dominant purpose of obtaining the payment.

The PCG details that the commissioner will be particularly concerned where an entity is not significantly affected by external environmental factors beyond its control and yet accesses the JobKeeper payment.

“The commissioner’s application of compliance resources will be driven by the substance of the outcome achieved, more than the type of arrangement entered into,” the PCG said.

“The commissioner will be able to recover any overpayments and will have the power to impose significant penalties and interest.

“This specific integrity provision is aimed at contrived and artificial arrangements that technically satisfy the eligibility requirements, but have been implemented for the sole or dominant purpose of accessing a JobKeeper payment.”

To better explain its compliance approach, the ATO has listed examples of scenarios that would attract its attention, including where a company chooses to defer the making of supplies, or bringing forward the making of supplies, to obtain the JobKeeper payment.

You can view the full list of examples in PCG 2020/4 here.

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian


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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