The tax office is giving specific sole traders extra time to report their assessable business income for the 2018-19 financial year for the purposes of the JobKeeper program.

According to its website, the Australian Taxation Office said businesses with specific circumstances will be able to get approval for extra time to lodge their 2018-19 income tax returns in order to receive JobKeeper payments, if eligible.

The list of circumstances, applying to assessable business income in 2018-19 and sales for the tax period between July 1, 2018, and March 12. 2020, will provide some beauty workers with extra time to lodge their applications.

This is particularly the case for businesses affected by the January bushfire crisis that had automatic deferrals applied to their 2018-19 lodgement obligations.

Extra allowances have also been made for businesses based in Australia’s external territories without Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) in an effort to ensure firms don’t miss out on wage subsidies.

Businesses in external territories without ABNs will have until June 30 to apply for and receive one, in order to complete their JobKeeper applications, the ATO said.

But the tax office stressed that discretion would only grant extra time, and not guarantee eligibility for wage subsidies.

“Exercise of the commissioner’s discretion does not mean you are eligible or entitled to the JobKeeper payment. You must obtain your ABN, and/or provide the relevant notice, by the extended date outlined above,” the ATO released in a statement.

The full list of criteria for tax commissioner discretion can be accessed on the ATO’s website.

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