Should businesses be particularly fearful of the ATO during Covid-19?

I certainly know that us tax advisors have had a little element to fear and concern especially when it comes to lodging JobKeeper applications for our clients from where they based upon projections and the reason that we're concerned is because projections could end up being wrong because of circumstances out of the clients control.

I would advise everybody is there in make sure that whatever decisions that you've made, whatever information that you use to come to the basis of a return or lodgement, please make sure that it is all documented and you also write down (write it down now!) what you were thinking that the time, how you came to your figures, what your justification was. You don’t want to have to remember what you were thinking in two years time.

The Commissioner Chris Jordan came out and said that the ATO was going to have a compassionate and consultative approach when it comes to these situations they want to work with everybody. I think that if everybody's lodging things in good faith that there's no need to be alarmed, I think they should be prepared for the possibility they might be asked questions and that assumptions might be challenged; work with your advisors at the time if that's the case.

If you've done the right thing and hand on heart you did your best to comply with the rules as they were, then I don't think anybody has anything to be concerned about.

If you were one of those people who is trying to take advantage of the system during this time and the ATO finds out about it, well then to be frank I hope that the ATO comes down hard on those people because they are out there taking advantage when there are many people out there that genuinely needed that support.

The ATO compliance should be strict on those people who are doing the wrong thing while supporting those still doing the right thing.