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  • Monthly business declarations for JobKeeper Fortnights in March need to be completed by 14 April 2021 to receive final JobKeeper payments. The JobKeeper Payment scheme finished on 28 March 2021.

    Keeping JobKeeper payment fair

    We’re continuing to work hard to maintain the integrity of the JobKeeper stimulus measure through our compliance approach.

    While most businesses and employees are doing the right thing, we have identified concerning and fraudulent behaviour and claims by a small number of organisations and employees.

    We will actively pursue these claims. There are penalties for making a false claim and not complying with your obligations.

    Some of the concerning behaviours we are currently examining include:

    • businesses that have    
      • made claims for employees without a nomination notice or have not paid their employees the correct JobKeeper amount (before tax)
      • made claims for employees where there is no history of an employment relationship
      • amended their prior business activity statements to increase sales in order to meet the turnover test
      • recorded an unexplained decline in turnover, followed by a significant increase
    • individuals who have knowingly    
      • made multiple claims for themselves as employees or as eligible business participants
      • made claims both as an employee and an eligible business participant
    • intermediaries, including tax agents, who have    
      • provided aggressive planning advice or otherwise facilitated access to JobKeeper to their clients who are ineligible
      • exhibited any of the above behaviours in their own affairs.

    We are also concerned with behaviour in the JobKeeper extension that:

    • allows access to entities that would otherwise not meet the actual decline in turnover test. An example is deliberately manipulating the timing of billing or receipt of payments
    • deliberately assesses employees or eligible business participants to a higher payment tier than they are eligible to receive.

    In general, employers are entitled to claim JobKeeper until 28 March 2021 even if the employee is likely to be made redundant after that date. However, we would be concerned if a scheme was entered into where:

    • the employee will not receive certain entitlements when the employment ends, such as a redundancy payment (or that they will receive reduced entitlements)
    • wages received by the employee are paid in substitution for payment of entitlements.

    Example: Employee made redundant after 28 March 2021

    Malith is an employee of Wicket's Sports Emporium. Wicket's Sports Emporium advises Malith in January that they will make him redundant. Malith's role has effectively come to an end and there are no further duties for him to carry out.

    However, Wicket's Sports Emporium gives Malith the option of continuing to receive salary that meets the minimum wage conditions for JobKeeper until the end of March. This option is only provided if he forgoes his entitlement to an 8-week redundancy payment. The salary can be seen as in substitution for the 8-week redundancy payment Malith would normally expect to receive.

    In this situation Wicket's Sports Emporium's eligibility to those JobKeeper payments may be denied based on there being a contrived scheme.

    End of example

    See, Practical Compliance Guideline – Schemes in relation to the JobKeeper payment PCG 2020/4 for more information on our approach to schemes concerning the JobKeeper payment.

    Employees may contact the ATO Tip-off line on 1800 060 062 if they are concerned they are receiving wages funded by JobKeeper in substitution for a payment they would normally expect to receive upon termination.

    We encourage all JobKeeper applicants to review their applications and contact us if they have made mistakes. We have a discretion to not pursue repayment of an overpayment in certain circumstances, such as honest mistakes. We have published guidance in relation to the overpayment discretion.

    If you have questions about workplace entitlements and obligations in relation to the JobKeeper payments the Fair Work Commission has released guidance on how it can help with JobKeeper disputesExternal Link.

    If you are concerned that you have been incorrectly excluded from JobKeeper in breach of the one-in-all-in rule, we encourage you first to discuss this with your employer. If you continue to have concerns, phone us on the ATO Tip-off hotline on 1800 060 062.

    If you are concerned that someone is doing the wrong thing in relation to the JobKeeper payment, you can tell us about it. We will be examining JobKeeper Tip-Offs and contacting businesses where we have concerns and need more information. To report illegal or behaviour of concern, see Making a tip off.

    See also:

    Last modified: 25 Mar 2021QC 62937