And the Tip-Offs Begin
By Tina Zawila
This week we have heard stories of the “haves and have nots” of JobKeeper. Business owners bragging to other business owners about how they “made sure” they were eligible to receive JobKeeper and that they “should do the same, if they haven’t already”, and employees who are unhappy with their employers either because they are, or are not, receiving JobKeeper.
Now that the health crisis appears to be under control, and as restrictions are lifted, people are starting to come up for air and look around to assess the damage and find the opportunities. And all everyone wants is a “fair go” to rebuild their businesses, jobs and careers. So, I can understand their frustration when they hear stories of others seemingly manipulating the system.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are also well-aware of some of the ‘strategies’ implemented to ensure eligibility for JobKeeper, and by 20th May 2020 they had already received 2,609 tip-offs relating to the JobKeeper Scheme. The ATO has made it clear that they will target businesses it suspects of manipulating turnover, including those that have deferred issuing invoices or processing customer orders, or have extended their credit terms and reinvoiced customers in a later month.
Of course, the overwhelming majority of Australian employers are honest and grateful for the vital support offered by JobKeeper, and the ATO has made it clear that they will work with employers to avoid and overcome genuine mistakes or misunderstandings.
As commonly occurs with any crisis we tend to see the best and the worst in people. I have also been heartened to see our community support each other over the last few months, either individually, by simply supporting a local café even when they couldn’t allow you to take a seat, or businesses supporting other businesses by buying local, and using local services. I have felt our community spirit that is robust and resilient, and I have listened to many business owners who believe that their businesses may be not quite be the same, but instead maybe, they will come back better than ever.
If you need professional advice regarding the various Government Stimulus measures that you may be entitled to, or need advice rebuilding your business, please contact our team at UHY Haines Norton on +61 7 4972 1300. We are here to support you, and our community.