ATO response to Corona Virus

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

As small business owners we are all critically aware of how important cash flow is and recently we have seen State Govt's and the Federal Govt put out stimulus packages to keep the economy going as well as can be expected and to ensure employment and small business are not hit as hard. So what can we expect from the ATO?

The ATO have put in place a range of concessions which can be used by all micro and small businesses impacted by Corona Virus, and which small business hasn't been impacted. Here is what is available:

- Payment Deferrals: The ATO is willing to work with SMEs to defer payments and vary instalments relating to activity statements (BAS), tax instalments, FBT returns for up to 4 months;

- The ATO is willing to allow SMEs that report their BAS and GST obligations quarterly to move to monthly. This will be very useful if you are expecting GST refunds over the coming forward months as it allows you to get the GST refunds quicker. Obviously, if you are still expecting GST liabilities then you can remain on quarterly lodgements;

- The ATO will allow you to vary your Pay As You Go tax instalment in the March BAS and more importantly, if you do vary your instalment for the March BAS, you can claim a refund for any instalment made for the Sept and Dec 2019 BAS lodgements. This will be something you should be discussing with you tax agent at March BAS time;

- Any liabilities incurred after Jan 23, 2020 the ATO will consider remitting interest and penalties applied to tax liabilities;

- Low Interest Payment Plans: f your business has been affected by COVID-19 and you need help to pay your existing and ongoing tax liabilities, we can contact the ATO to discuss entering a low interest payment plan.

- Employer Super Obligations: The ATO is stressing that any and all employer Super SG obligations need to be met as the ATO has zero discretion to waive super guarantee charges for late or unpaid super.

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