In a highly awaited decision for many business owners, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has ruled in favour of the Taxpayer for the first JobKeeper case.
On 21 December, 2020, the AAT overturned the ATO’s decision to deny Mr Apted (Taxpayer) access to JobKeeper and instead held that he was entitled to access the program.
There are a number of requirements that need to be met to access the JobKeeper program with some of the key requirements for business are that as at 12 March, 2020 they had an ABN and had lodged a 2018-2019 tax return or an activity statement for the period between 1 July, 2018 and 12 March, 2020.
In the case of the Taxpayer, he was carrying on a business without an active ABN when he made an application for JobKeeper on 12 March, 2020. On 31 March, 2020, he successfully applied to have his ABN reinstated with a backdated start date of 1 July 2019.
The ATO subsequently denied the Taxpayer access to the Jobkeeper as he did not hold an active ABN on or before 12 March, 2020.
The AAT held that as the Australian Business Registrar is managed by the ATO, which approved the backdated start date of the Taxpayer’s ABN (to 1 July 2019), then the Taxpayer held an ABN as at 12 March 2020.
Taxpayers should be aware that the ATO has started to clawback JobKeeper payments from business that have made reckless errors or that are deliberately trying to claim these payments.
Rockwell Bates is experienced in assisting and reviewing JobKeeper incentives, including eligibility requirements and the application process.
For more information on access or reviewing the JobKeeper incentives or, advice on it or other COVID related incentives, please contact our Tax and Advisory Team of lawyers.