The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced a late lodgement penalty amnesty program for small businesses. The program begins on 1 June 2023 and finishes on 31 December 2023.
If you are a small business owner, this article may be beneficial to you. The article will cover what the small business lodgement penalty amnesty program is, who is eligible for the program, and why small businesses should take advantage of the program.
What is the Small Business Late Lodgement Penalty Amnesty Program?
The amnesty program allows small business owners the opportunity to pay outstanding taxes, without repercussions. The amnesty is designed to help small businesses with outstanding tax returns or business activity statements (BAS) due between 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2022.
Who is eligible for the Late Lodgement Penalty Amnesty Program?
To be eligible for the amnesty program, businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Have an annual turnover of under $10 million
- Have outstanding tax returns or BAS that were due between 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2022
- Lodge their BAS or outstanding tax returns between 1 June 2023 and 31 December 2023
The amnesty does not apply to privately owned groups, or individuals controlling over $5 million of net wealth.
Why small businesses should take advantage of the program.
If you are a small business owner with outstanding tax returns or BAS, you should consider taking advantage of the amnesty. The amnesty is a great opportunity to get your tax affairs in order and avoid paying any further penalties.
Any failure to lodge penalties will clear automatically if a small business is eligible for the amnesty program. No action is required to apply for the program. However, the general interest charge will apply.
According to the ATO, the amnesty program provides a “one-off opportunity” for small firms to settle their tax affairs. The ATO has also emphasised that the amnesty is not a “get out of jail free card” and that companies who benefit from it should still take steps to ensure that they comply with their tax responsibilities going forwards.
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