As we approach the end of 2023, businesses are reminded of the looming deadline for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) lodgement penalty amnesty. This unique opportunity, provided by the ATO, allows eligible businesses to bring their overdue tax returns, Business Activity Statements (BAS), or Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) returns up to date without incurring penalties. However, time is of the essence, as the amnesty concludes on 31 December 2023.

To take advantage of the ATO lodgement penalty amnesty, businesses must meet specific criteria:

  • Annual Turnover: The business should have had an annual turnover under $10 million at the original lodgement due date.
  • Overdue Returns: The amnesty applies to businesses with overdue tax returns, BAS, or FBT returns that were due between 1 December 2019, and 28 February 2022.
  • Lodgement Period: The business must bring all overdue lodgements up to date between 1 June and 31 December 2023.

Upon successful lodgement of overdue returns within the specified period, the ATO will automatically remit failure-to-lodge penalties. This provides a crucial opportunity for businesses to rectify compliance issues without the burden of additional financial penalties.

The ATO lodgement penalty amnesty extends its benefits to directors who actively contribute to bringing the company’s lodgements up to date. Directors can also have penalties remitted, creating an incentive for them to ensure the company’s compliance. For those directors who rely on company lodgements to finalize their personal tax affairs, the ATO offers further relief. Failure-to-lodge penalties, which might have a cascading effect on personal tax obligations, will also be remitted.

It is important to note that the ATO lodgement penalty amnesty does not apply to privately owned businesses or individuals controlling over $5 million of net wealth. These exclusions highlight the focus on providing relief to smaller businesses and individuals facing challenges in meeting their tax obligations.

Compliance is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy business environment, and this amnesty provides a unique opportunity for eligible businesses to rectify past oversights and a fresh start on meeting their tax obligations. If your business aligns with the outlined eligibility criteria or if you require guidance on meeting these criteria, our dedicated team is ready to assist you. Contact Crest Accounting at (02) 4933 3466 to speak with one of our team members.