Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

CashFlow boost update

To enable Cashflow Boost credits to be processed efficiently, it was necessary for us (the ATO) to undertake an initial eligibility assessment prior to the initial deployment. The initial assessment was undertaken in early April 2020 based on the information and lodgements we had at the time.

Any businesses who were not identified in the initial assessment (who perhaps had not lodged yet) could still obtain the Cashflow Boost once they met the requirements, by contacting the ATO.

This week the ATO will be deploying a systems tool that will automatically update eligibility based on new information that has come to hand since early April – for example income tax return and BAS lodgements.  Going forward the tool will run daily and update eligibility on a daily basis.

This new tool and automated approach for updating eligibility should mean that going forward less people will need to call us to enquire about their cash flow boost credit

There will still be some instances where we will need further information or evidence to confirm eligibility.  However,  very soon we are planning to implement a new streamlined approach for taxpayers or their advisers to provide the required information to us over the phone. Assuming they meet the requirements, the new process will significantly reduce the time to determine and update eligibility.

ATO Webpage on Eligibility


Businesses (including sole traders, companies, partnerships or trusts) and NFP organisations will be eligible to receive the cash flow boost if:

  • You are a small or medium business entity or NFP of equivalent size (that is, an entity with aggregated annual turnover less than $50 million).
  • You held an ABN on 12 March 2020.
  • You made payments to employees subject to withholding (even if the amount you were required to withhold is zero), such as      
    • salary and wages
    • director fees
    • eligible retirement or termination payments
    • compensation payments
    • voluntary withholding from payments to contractors.
  • On or before 12 March 2020, you lodged at least one of
    • a 2018–19 income tax return showing that you had an amount included in your assessable income in relation to you carrying on a business
    • an activity statement or GST return for any tax period that started after 1 July 2018 and ended before 12 March 2020 showing that you made a taxable, GST-free or input-taxed sale.

There are only exceptional circumstances where we may have discretion to give you further time after 12 March 2020.

You won’t be disadvantaged if you have been given a deferral for your earlier activity statement or are not required to lodge your income tax return yet. Read more about the impact of lodgment deferrals.

You are not eligible for the cash flow boosts if you change the way you operate for the sole or dominant purpose of becoming entitled to cash flow boosts when you would otherwise not be entitled. Read more about schemes.

If you don't meet these general eligibility criteria but think you may still be entitled to the boost, there are special eligibility rules for entities in the following situations:

  • 14 May 2020