The ATO’s lodgment penalty amnesty has been extended, providing thousands of eligible enterprises a chance to rectify overdue income tax returns, business activity statements (BAS), and fringe benefit tax (FBT) returns without incurring penalties. The window of opportunity, however, is closing soon – businesses must act before the 31st of December to take advantage of this valuable amnesty.
To qualify for the amnesty, businesses must meet specific criteria. Their annual turnover should have been under $10 million when the original lodgment was due. Overdue income tax returns, BAS, or FBT returns that were originally due between 1st December 2019 and 28th February 2022 are eligible.
Importantly, businesses must lodge these overdue returns between 1st June and 31st December 2023.
It’s crucial to note that the amnesty does not extend to privately owned groups or individuals controlling over $5 million of net wealth. However, directors looking to bring their company lodgments up to date can also benefit. Penalties for eligible lodgments made between 1st June and 31st December 2023 can be remitted.
For those who find themselves in debt, paying in full, if possible, is advised. However, in recognition of the challenges that businesses may face, especially in the current economic climate, the option of setting up a payment plan is available. While payment plans require an upfront payment, they can be structured to be completed in the shortest possible time.
Businesses navigating these processes may find it beneficial to enlist the assistance of a registered tax professional or a BAS agent. We can provide guidance, ensuring that businesses not only comply with the lodgment requirements but also make informed decisions about their financial obligations.
As the deadline approaches, small businesses are encouraged to seize this opportunity, bringing their financial records up to date and benefiting from the lodgment penalty amnesty before the window of opportunity closes at the end of the year.
Need assistance? Why not speak with your registered tax agent for further guidance to help you kick off the new year on the right foot.