ATO loses case on JobKeeper and backdated ABNs

JobKeeper claims and backdated ABNs

On 24 March 2021, the Full Federal Court handed down its decision in a decisive case.

It concerned the requirement that an entity claiming JobKeeper must have had an ABN on 12 March 2020, or a later time allowed by the ATO.

The Registrar of the Australian Business Register had reactivated the relevant entity’s previously cancelled ABN after 12 March 2020, but with a backdated effective date on or before 12 March 2020.

The Court held that backdating an ABN to have an effective date on or before 12 March 2020 did not satisfy the requirement for the entity to have had an ABN on 12 March 2020.

However, the Court also held that the ATO’s decision not to allow the entity a “later time” to have
an ABN was a “reviewable decision”, and that the Commissioner’s discretion should be exercised in these circumstances (i.e., the Court held that the entity should be entitled to JobKeeper).

The Court’s decision does not change the need to satisfy all of the other eligibility requirements.

Where the ATO has postponed finalising a decision regarding a taxpayer’s eligibility for JobKeeper (and/or the cash flow boost) pending the Court’s decision, the ATO will contact the affected taxpayer shortly to provide them with an update.

If you have any queries about the JobKeeper Payment scheme, please contact Omnis Group’s Business Accountants in Perth on 08 9380 3555.

Related reading

Tax treatment of JobKeeper Payments