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Deborah Jenkins, Deputy Commissioner Small Business, gives an update to business and the tax profession on the ATO’s support for those affected by COVID-19

Last updated 6 April 2020

Video and transcript

Media: Update to businesses and the tax profession Link (Duration: 03:49)

To download a copy of Update to businesses and the tax profession by Deb Jenkins (MP4 275MB)This link will download a file

Hello, my name is Deborah Jenkins, Deputy Commissioner of Small Business.

I would like to start by acknowledging that these are unprecedented times and we are all concerned about how the spread of COVID-19 in Australia will impact our lives, and our livelihoods.

Like many of you, here at the ATO we are working hard to respond to the evolving situation to make sure we can continue to deliver vital services.

For small business owners – I know you too are worried about how you will keep staff on, and how you will make ends meet during this difficult time.

For tax professionals – I know many of you are worried about your own businesses and are also dealing with clients that are worried about theirs.

Now I would like to give a brief update on how to access the support and assistance available to businesses in response to COVID-19.

First, a reminder the AUSkey will no longer be available from 11.59pm AEDST this Friday, 27th March. This date cannot be moved.

This means that if you lodge via the business portal or Online services for agents, you need to register for a myGovID credential and set up your authorisations in Relationship Authorisation Manager. For more information on how to get set up, go to

The Government has announced their economic response to COVID-19. It includes measures to boost cashflow assistance for employers, deliver support for business investments, and provide early access to super.

For the boost cashflow assistance for employers you must lodge your activity statement:

Quarterly lodgers will be eligible to receive the benefit for the quarters ending March 2020 and June 2020.

Monthly lodgers will be eligible to receive the benefit for the lodgement months of March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020.

You must have employees and pay wages to be eligible. 

This information included in the activity statement will ensure that the correct stimulus initiatives are applied to the circumstances of eligible businesses.

To ensure that we can apply these measures as quickly as possible, we need those of you that normally lodge paper activity statements to consider lodging electronically. Information on how to make the move to digital can be found on by searching “How to lodge your BAS”.

This will reduce processing times and get help to businesses faster.

There is no doubt that Australian businesses have had a rough start to the year. If you or your clients are having trouble, contact us so that we can work with you to find a solution. We are always here to help.

As a nation we are going through challenging times. We need to work together, to help businesses continue operating for the good of the Australian community and our economy.

We will do everything we can to support you during this difficult time– we are in this together.

Thank you everyone, and take care.