Tax office targets coronavirus fraudsters

Daniel McCulloch
The tax office is cracking down on people exploiting JobKeeper payments

Fraudsters taking advantage of coronavirus stimulus measures have been put on notice.

The tax office is cracking down on people exploiting JobKeeper payments, early superannuation release and business cash flow schemes.

Anyone caught breaking the law could face massive fines or jail time.

The ATO has uncovered intelligence about a number of dodgy tactics, including people withdrawing super and redepositing it to receive a tax deduction.

Others are fudging their personal finances to apply for the hardship program.

The ATO is also eyeing off employers manipulating their turnovers to receive JobKeeper wage subsidies, along with businesses pulling shifty tricks to maximise cash flow injections.

Deputy Commissioner Will Day said the ATO generally worked on the assumption people acted honestly, but would conduct checks later.

"If you've received a benefit as part of the COVID-19 stimulus measures and we discover you are ineligible, you can expect to hear from us," he said on Tuesday.

"It is much better to come forward to make a voluntary disclosure than waiting to be audited."