Oversight of the 10 per cent decline in turnover certificates, which will allow employers who previously participated in JobKeeper to continue accessing temporary flexibilities like varying employees’ hours and duties, will instead fall under the scope of the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Registered tax agents, BAS agents and qualified accountants are the only professionals who are allowed to issue the decline in turnover certificate.
“In providing this service, practitioners are acting under the Fair Work Act 2009, and as such, this is not a tax agent service for the purposes of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009,” the TPB said.
“The Fair Work Ombudsman has responsibility for enforcing compliance with the JobKeeper provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009.”
Practitioners who are caught abusing the provision of such certificates, however, can expect to be investigated by the TPB to determine whether their misconduct has contravened the Code of Professional Conduct, including Code item 1, which relates to honesty and integrity.
The Fair Work Ombudsman noted that practitioners looking to provide the certificate will need to comply with their “usual legal and professional obligations”.
It also clarified that practitioners are not required to complete an audit or assurance engagement of the employer’s accounts and records in order to issue a certificate.
Instead, they are required to confirm that the test has been met based on the information provided by employers, with penalties for employers who knowingly provide false or misleading information to a registered tax agent, a BAS agent or a qualified accountant.
Fair Work has also since released a template decline in turnover certificate for practitioners to use.
Small businesses with fewer than 15 employees will be allowed to provide a statutory declaration instead of obtaining the decline in turnover certificate from a registered tax or BAS agent.
The statutory declaration will need to be completed by the employer or someone who is authorised by the employer, and will be required to have knowledge of the employer’s financial matters.
A statutory declaration template can be accessed from the Attorney-General’s Department’s website.
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.