Show download pdf controls
  • BAS Agent Association Group key messages 2 June 2020

    JobKeeper payment

    Director Michael Karavas provided an update on JobKeeper payment.

    On Sunday 31 May the ATO applied system updates to allow changes for the subsequent round of JobKeeper enrolments, available from 1 June 2020. Enrolments were required by 31 May 2020 for the first round of payments made for April and May 2020.

    Members provided feedback that guidelines on each step were unclear as employers did not realise, they were required to enrol and identify their employees in the month of enrolment. Employers who did not identify employees initially on enrolment may now contact the ATO via phone to correct. The ATO will be issuing a communication to clarify what is required on enrolment.

    Declarations are now available for fortnight three until the completion of the JobKeeper program. For employers enrolling in JobKeeper to start for fortnights ending in June notification of enrolment and identification (steps 1 & 2) must be completed by 30 June 2020.

    A business monthly declaration for each month must be made to claim JobKeeper payments for the previous month. The declaration must be completed between the first and 14th of the month. For example, to be reimbursed for JobKeeper payments in May 2020, declarations must be completed by 14 June 2020.

    There is no requirement to notify the ATO if opting out of the JobKeeper scheme. Those employers opting out should disregard any reminders received. The ATO is developing a form which will be available on shortly for employers who have enrolled in JobKeeper but wish to exit the scheme.

    If an employer wishes to or is required to pay back any amounts incorrectly received, it is important to contact the ATO to obtain a payment reference number so that repayments are allocated to the correct account.

    The ATO is reviewing the integrity of some claims before issuing the JobKeeper payment. This is due to discrepancies between the claims and information already held by the ATO.

    Single Touch Payroll (STP) and Online services for agents

    Director David Baker acknowledged that the actions of some tax agents replacing BAS agents on client accounts continues to be an irritant. Changes were implemented in Online services for agents to minimise this behaviour, but instances of removal are continuing.

    To determine the extent of the problem the ATO are working to identify how many BAS agents have been de-linked and then subsequently re-linked over the past 12 months. This data will be used to look for patterns and determine whether there are behavioural problems to address or whether further system changes need to be considered. Members provided examples of their experiences and while this still happens, instances seemed to have dropped off for the members of the group.

    Members suggested that once an agent links at the client level for income tax purposes, their capacity to specifically link to other roles should be locked as they already have access to these roles.

    David committed to returning a result of the analysis in time for the next meeting.

    Director Michael Karavas advised the STP system is scheduled to be updated on 3 June 2020. End of financial year messaging is being sent to employers to remind users to finalise via STP rather than payment summaries.

    There has recently been a significant uptake in enrolment for STP, but this is starting to reduce. The penalty free period for businesses not using STP finishes this month.

    Cash flow boost

    The ATO has reviewed the eligibility of all taxpayers who have lodged March 2020 activity statements. For those taxpayers who have contacted the ATO and are awaiting confirmation of their eligibility or allocation of cash flow boost credits, the ATO has processed a sizeable portion of cash flow boost credits for those clients. Pending eligibility, the remainder will be processed by the 7 June 2020.Other clients who have contacted the ATO and are considered ineligible will also be notified by 7 June 2020.

    The ATO will be contacting taxpayers who may need to provide further information to confirm their eligibility and will be inviting them to provide verbal declarations to satisfy this requirement. These calls have already started over the weekend of 30 – 31 May 2020.

    The eligibility companion guide for cash flow boost stimulus measure can be used as a guide for practitioners and is now available on

    Tax Practitioners Board (TPB)

    CEO/Secretary Tax Practitioners Board, Michael O’Neill advised the TPB is working with the ATO in relation to the highest risk tax practitioners who appear to be taking advantage of the Government’s stimulus measures.

    A range of temporary measures to assist practitioners with difficult circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic have been introduced including a temporary revision of what activities will meet continuing professional education/development (CPE/CPD) requirements.

    The TPB thanked members for the prompt feedback provided for the Legislative Instrument regarding BAS agents providing Superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) services.

    The ATO has conducted a TPB performance survey on behalf of the TPB with randomly selected practitioners and clients. Responding to the survey is voluntary. The ATO will aggregate responses and provide them to the TPB. The survey assists the TPB to improve their services. The TPB acknowledges that although the timing of the survey was poor due to the current situation and practitioner workload, response rate has been high and apologised for the bad timing.

    Other business

    An email will issue to members later this week when the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House Practical Compliance Guide is published.


    Attendees are listed below




    Sylvia Gallagher (Chair), Individuals and Intermediaries


    Audra Paskevicius (Secretariat), Individuals and Intermediaries


    David Baker, Individuals and Intermediaries


    Jackie Haywood, Individuals and Intermediaries


    Kasey Macfarlane, Superannuation and Employer Obligations


    Michael Karavas, Superannuation and Employer Obligations


    Siobhan Spencer-Arnell (Secretariat), Individuals and Intermediaries

    Association of Accounting Technicians

    Rochelle Park

    Australian Bookkeepers Association Ltd

    Kerrie Jarius

    Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

    Martine Joly

    Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

    Matthew Addison

    Tax practitioner

    Cate Kemp

    Tax practitioner

    Darren McMahon

    Tax practitioner

    Keith Clissold

    Tax practitioner

    Suzy Komuczki

    Tax Practitioners Board

    Michael O'Neill


    Apologies are listed below.




    Trent Jakubowski (Chair) Individuals and Intermediaries

    Institute of Public Accountants

    Tony Greco

    Tax Practitioner

    John Birse

      Last modified: 25 Jun 2020QC 63043