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ATO leniency for small busines

26 May 2023 | By Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The Australian Tax Office recently announced a Small Business Lodgement Amnesty Program to allow businesses to bring outstanding tax returns and business activity statements up-to-date.

This program will help struggling businesses to re-engage with the tax system

It applies to tax obligations, including income tax and business activity statements, that were originally due from 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2022.

To be eligible for the amnesty businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • had an annual turnover of under $10 million at the time the original lodgement was due
  • have outstanding tax returns or BAS that were due between 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2022
  • lodge between 1 June and 31 December 2023.

The amnesty doesn’t apply to privately owned groups, or individuals controlling more than $5 million of net wealth.

If those returns are lodged between 1 June 2023 and 31 December 2023, any failure to lodge a penalty applying to the late lodgement will be automatically remitted. No action is required to request a remission. However, general interest charges will continue to apply.

In most cases businesses will be able to set up a payment plan online – the ATO’s self-serve payment plan option is available for debts up to $100,000.

It’s important to get back on track with your lodgements. This will help you understand your net tax position. If you end up with a debt and you need help, contact us early so we can find the best solution for you.

If you have outstanding lodgements because you are no longer operating a business, it’s important to lodge your obligations, and then cancel your ABN and any tax registrations such as GST.

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