The Australian Government is trying to help businesses and the jobless in this crazy and unpredictable time – really they are. But have you found as a business OR individual that it’s just way too confusing?
As a Bookkeeper and BAS Agent, Calculated Accounts need to keep up to date with all these changes and packages so that we can get our clients the best possible outcome considering this unprecedented climate. This means that the businesses will be no worse off than they would be IF this Covid-19 situation did not arise. In saying this, our whole industry should not be prepared to wrought the system to allow clients to make further financial gain.
In recent weeks it has been communicated from various industry colleagues that clients are expecting us to claim more than they should out of these packages. They are asking wages to be increased or changed so that the Cash Boost package is more beneficial to them. This is not acceptable. Bookkeepers and Accountants asked to do this need to take the same united line and decline these requests. The ATO can easily monitor trends of wages (for example) and see changes occur. This could lead to them reclaiming this money later and could lead to the BAS Agent or Accountant losing their tax agent registrations.
The ATO themselves have quoted “Any sudden changes to the characterisation of payments made may cause us to investigate whether the payments are in fact wages.”
“If the payments are wages, we may consider the characterisation of past payments, including whether they should have been subject to PAYGW and whether super guarantee contributions should have been made. You may also have FBT obligations that have not yet been met.”
To ensure that your business is getting all that they are entitled, please contact us so that we can work through your eligibility for assistance. This will be done correctly and honestly without any fear of repercussions later down the track. We are all in this together and by keeping honest, we as a country can ensure that the businesses and people who sincerely need the most help will receive it.