• De Kretser Law

White Collar Offences: ATO cracking down on employers rorting the JobKeeper scheme


An emergency welfare measure, the JobKeeper subsidy scheme, ended on the 31st of March 2021 (12 months after its inception). It was used to keep the economy alive and compensate businesses who lost revenue due to COVID-19 shutdowns. It helped many Australians keep their jobs in an otherwise uncertain time.

Unfortunately, up to $75 million in fraudulent claims were made by employers who fudged their books or didn’t pass on the benefits to employees. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is cracking down on these employers with hefty fines if they are found to have made a deliberate false statement in their tax return.

Under the Tax Administration Act 1953, the ATO prosecutes a range of summary offences, including:

  • Failing to lodge returns or keep records.

  • Making false or misleading statements.

  • Not responding to questions when required.

  • Failing to attend an interview.

Fraudulent JobKeeper claims fall under this category and are considered as a white-collar offence.

If you are a business owner charged with an offence, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible. De Kretser Law is experienced in representing clients charged by the ATO with a variety of offences and helping clients get the best outcome possible.

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