“Even if refinancing considerations also played a part as the director asserts, I am not persuaded.”
Accountants Daily last week reported on an experienced chartered accountant, registered tax agent and company director- who remains anonymous- who was found by the ATO to have entered into a cash boost scheme with the sole or dominant purpose of obtaining a maximum of $50,000 initial cash flow boost.
The accountant shaped his wages around the scheme, telling the Administrative Appeals Tribunal that the drastic increase in wages was not solely motivated by the cash flow boost, but to enhance his borrowing and refinancing capacity. However, the individual could not produce any specific evidence of conversations with his bank to increase his wages by over $100,000.
The tribunal noted that it was not credible for a bank to look favourably upon a one-off payment of wages in excess of $100,000 a single week and reported that the practicing accountant would be defying common sense.
“To accept that he (the accountant) caused the applicant to make an extraordinary one-off payment of this order, as wages for a single week, mainly for the purpose of encouraging a bank to extend finance on the basis”, AAT senior member Robert Olding stated in his ruling, noting he remained unconvinced.
The accountant has been denied the COVID-19 cash flow boost and it has been determined he entered into the scheme solely to obtain the stimulus payment. He is seeking to overturn the ruling.
The results of the tribunal set an example to those tempted to execute similar manoeuvres, warning of the “inevitable ATO scrutiny” they will face.