Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

ATO provide guidance as to their approach to compliance checking employers for CashFlow Boost and also JobKeeper.

ATO state:

If you've made a claim and made genuine mistakes, we'll help you resolve them. We want to give you the support you need, without the worry of accruing a debt, repaying money or getting penalised for genuine mistakes.

We know that most Australians are honest and do the right thing. However there are a handful of people who try to take advantage and exploit the system for their own financial gain.

We will not tolerate anyone engaging in illegal behaviour or developing contrived schemes designed to take advantage of the COVID-19 stimulus packages. Where people deliberately exploit the system, we will take action. We've already seen some examples of people doing the wrong thing, and we've acted quickly and decisively.

JobKeeper fraud includes

Some behaviours that are attracting our attention include:

  • payments to people who do not meet the eligibility requirements or are not employees,
  • falsifying records or revising activity statements to meet the fall in turnover test,
  • applying for JobKeeper where there is no evidence of carrying on a business or there is no assessable income from carrying on a business,
  • employers failing to pass on the full $1500 JobKeeper payment to eligible employees,
  • multiple eligible business participant claims,
  • employees being incorrectly excluded under the one-in-all-in rule

The ATO also note the folliowing items, neither of which should raise stress levels, but be aware of the need to provide answers if they ask.

  • We will also focus our attention on the application of the decline in turnover test. This will include examining situations where actual and projected turnover have significantly diverged.
  • We encourage all JobKeeper applicants to review their applications and contact us if they have made any errors or an honest mistake. We have a limited discretion in relation to overpayments which we can exercise in certain circumstances.

CashFlow Boost Fraud includes

Some arrangements that we will be looking out for include:

  • businesses that register for PAYG withholding, or report withholding amounts on behalf of fictitious employees, so that they can claim the cash flow boost
  • businesses that overstate their PAYG withholding amounts to increase their entitlement to the cash flow boost
  • employers who claim that former employees are still working for them, or who resurrect dormant entities, to wrongfully claim the cash flow boost.

Make a tip-off to the ATO

ATO reference points and online form for raising concerns

ATO References

ATO Media release 23rd June - ATO Zero's in on COVID-19 Fraud


  • 24 June 2020