Get your small business back on track with the new amnesty

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has introduced a new amnesty program to help you catch up on overdue income tax returns, fringe benefits tax returns, and business activity statements.

This is an excellent opportunity to get your lodgments back on track and ensure compliance with your tax obligations.

Eligibility and duration

The amnesty, announced in the 2023–24 Budget, covers tax obligations originally due between 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2022. It runs from 1 June 2023 to 31 December 2023, providing a defined timeframe to resolve any outstanding matters.

To be eligible for the amnesty, your small business must have an aggregated turnover of less than $10 million at the time the original lodgment was due.

During the amnesty period, eligible small businesses can lodge their overdue forms, and the ATO will proactively remit any associated failure to lodge (FTL) penalties. This is a valuable opportunity to rectify any lapses in lodgment without facing additional financial burdens.

Emma Tobias, ATO Assistant Commissioner, encourages small businesses to take advantage of the amnesty and bring their tax obligations up to date.

“We understand that the past few years have been challenging, with the pandemic and natural disasters affecting many small businesses. However, lodging ATO forms is not optional. We hope our amnesty will make it easier for impacted small businesses to get back on track.”

Proactive penalty remission

When you lodge your overdue forms under the amnesty, there’s no need to separately request a remission of FTL penalties. The ATO will take care of the penalty remission on their end. While you may temporarily see an FTL penalty on your account, rest assured it will be remitted.

It’s important to note that outstanding lodgments can raise concerns about a small business’s engagement with the tax system. By proactively addressing your overdue forms, you can avoid potential red flags and demonstrate your commitment to meeting your obligations.

Even if your overdue forms fall outside the amnesty eligibility period, the ATO encourages you to lodge them. While FTL penalties may still apply, the ATO will assess your circumstances and consider remitting such penalties on a case-by-case basis.

If you’re worried about paying the amount owed on your overdue lodgment, remember that the ATO offers various support options, including flexible payment plans. You can collaborate with the ATO or your registered tax or BAS agent to find the right solution for your situation.

If your business has ceased trading, it’s crucial to inform your registered tax professional or contact the ATO directly.

The amnesty covers income tax returns, business activity statements (BAS), and fringe benefits tax (FBT) returns. However, it doesn’t apply to superannuation obligations and excludes other administrative penalties associated with the Taxable Payments Reporting System.

Don’t miss this chance to get your small business back on track with its tax obligations. Reach out to our KMT registered tax advisers today to ensure you’re up to date with your tax affairs and take advantage of the ATO’s support.

Remember, lodging your overdue forms during the amnesty period remains your obligation, and the ATO will continue to work with you to ensure compliance.

Source: ATO website

Contact KMT advisers now if you need assistance with your business tax!

This is general advice only and does not take into account your financial circumstances, needs and objectives. Before making any decision based on this document, you should assess your own circumstances or seek tax advice from a qualified accountant at KMT Partners. Information is current at the date of issue and may change.