What happens if you've been overpaid JobKeeper?

October 2020

The Australian Tax Office has indicated how it will address overpayment of JobKeeper and the actions – if any – it will take. 

Guidance has been released by the ATO outlining the circumstances in which JobKeeper overpayments received by taxpayers will not need to be repaid.

The ATO indicates that if a JobKeeper overpayment is identified, the ATO might decide the overpayment does not have to be repaid, particularly if there was an honest mistake. The following factors are also taken into account, such as whether:

  • The taxpayer relied in good faith on a statement made by an employee in their nomination notice;
  • The taxpayer fully passed on the benefit of the JobKeeper payment to the relevant employee; and
  • The mistake was made earlier in JobKeeper when there was less public guidance.

Mistakes will not be considered honest in situations where (among others) fraud was perpetrated by either the JobKeeper recipient or another entity, there has been intentional disregard of the law or recklessness in its application, or the employer has deliberately failed to meet the wage condition.

What happens if you need to repay JobKeeper?

Where the ATO indicates that taxpayers need to repay overpaid amounts, the taxpayer will be advised in writing:

  • Why they believe there's been an overpayment;
  • How much needs to be repaid; and
  • How the taxpayer can make the repayment

Penalties may also apply in these circumstances.

Talk your accountant

Speak to your accountant on 02 9957 4033 if you have any doubts about your JobKeeper eligibility or if you receive notification about repayments.

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This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

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