Australia: ATO guidance on treatment of JobKeeper overpayments (COVID-19)

Australia: Treatment of JobKeeper overpayments

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released information as guidance for employers regarding overpayments of JobKeeper payments when there has been an incorrect self-assessment. The ATO stated that such overpayments need to be identified, but in some instances, may not need to be repaid.


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The JobKeeper program was established to provide employment-related relief in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to the ATO guidance, if an overpayment is identified, one of the following will occur:

  • The ATO will decide if the overpayment does not have to be repaid (typically in instances when the employer made an honest mistake).
  • The ATO will decide that the overpayment needs to be repaid by the employer.
  • The ATO will decide that another entity that directly or indirectly benefited from the overpayment is also liable to repay the overpayment. When another entity is also liable, the ATO may pursue collection of:
    • The entire repayment from the employer
    • The entire repayment from the other entity, or
    • Payments from the employer and the other entity until the overpayment is repaid in full

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