Covid-19 has presented a significant challenge for many Australian businesses in the last 6 months. The government has taken extraordinary steps to help manage the issues of the economic crisis by providing ongoing support packages to businesses.
Since the coronavirus pandemic started, the Tax Office has refrained from initiating new audits, however, the ATO plans to recommence audits in September, subject to the evolving situation.
We have been providing our clients with our Audit Shield service for many years now, and with an increased focus on JobKeeper payments, now is the time to consider Audit Shield Cover.
Audit Shield provides payment of professional fees incurred should you get selected for an audit, enquiry, investigation or review by the Australian Taxation Office or any other relevant government revenue agencies.
Although our Audit Shield service excludes any matter in relation to application, assessment or review of government benefits or entitlements, we are pleased to announce that we have been working closely with our service provider and they now have an inclusion in place for JobKeeper payment audits and reviews only. This means that JobKeeper payment audits and reviews are covered by our Audit Shield service. Our Audit Shield service will provide for the payment of our professional fees otherwise payable by you when incurred as a result of our accounting firm being required to respond to a JobKeeper payment audit or review on your behalf.
Who will be targeted?
Even if your lodgements are accurate, you can still be targeted. The ATO has extensive data matching abilities which is improving and increasing the level of audit activity. They will be looking at activities such as:
- Businesses that appear to have adjusted their data to meet JobKeeper eligibility requirements, such as an increase in number of staff
- Business records, such as BAS, that does not match those that the ATO has received in the past
What is covered with the new inclusion?
- JobKeeper payments
- Post payment audits and reviews
- Payment of our professional fees as a result of a JobKeeper audit payment audit or review on your behalf
What is not covered?
- All audits and reviews of other Covid-19 support packages, unless they form part of an audit of a lodged return (i.e. BAS audit, Payroll Tax audit etc.)
- Any issues or queries with the JobKeeper payment application process
The cost of an audit can be quite significant, even a simple review can require hours of work. Audit Shield Service provides a cost-effective solution to protect you against these unexpected costs.
If you currently have Audit Shield cover then JobKeeper audit will be added at no additional cost to you. If you would like to know more about our Audit Shield service, please contact us.