During these difficult times, the ATO’s priority is to help those who have been financially affected by COVID-19 get the payments they need. The ATO knows that most Australians are honest and they will not penalise those who have made genuine mistakes.
However, the ATO is committed to ensuring the system remains fair by focussing on protecting the integrity of the stimulus measures. The ATO is taking firm action against those who try to take advantage of the system for their own financial gain.
The ATO has already seen, and acted on, some cases of fraud and fraudulent attempts of people developing schemes to try to steal money from the community. Serious penalties, such as fines, prosecution, and imprisonment, can apply to tax avoidance schemes.
If you’re applying for any of the COVID-19 stimulus measures, it is important to carefully check eligibility requirements on the ATO website. If you think you have made a mistake on your application, contact the ATO or your registered tax professional as soon as possible.
For more information about the ATO’s approach to maintaining a fair system, visit ato.gov.au/COVIDcompliance