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Holding Redlich steps up against ATO in first JobKeeper test case

24 November 20 - In the News

Author: Jacqueline So
Publication: Australasian Lawyer
Publisher: Key Media

Holding Redlich has stepped up to act for a small business owner against the ATO in the first JobKeeper test case.

The business is looking to claim JobKeeper entitlements that the ATO denied due to a technicality, the firm said.

“The ATO’s refusal was based on the business owner not having a registered ABN on 12 March, despite paying tax on business income and managing a business as a sole trader,” Holding Redlich said.

The case was presented before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on 3 November. Senior tax controversy partner Sue Williamson took point in working on the matter.

“The ATO has done an amazing job at administering the JobKeeper program at short notice; however, the decision to reject the business owner’s application in this case means small business owners who do not qualify for state relief are denied a financial lifeline,” Williamson said.

She said that the business in question satisfied “the principle that underpins the program” – that is, to help businesses jeopardised by the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“Small businesses operating at 12 March which experienced a material (30%+) drop in turnover should have been fast-tracked for support, not rejected,” Williamson said.

The tribunal is expected to rule on the case at the end of the month.

Last year, Holding Redlich provided pro bono services to a Cairns homeowner to help her keep her home in another “first of its kind” case involving a bankruptcy technicality.

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