ATO to provide assistance to business affected by Covid-19

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has announced it will implement administrative measures designed to assist Australians and businesses experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan says businesses impacted by the coronavirus should contact the ATO to discuss relief options.

Options available to businesses impacted by Covid-19 include:

  • Deferring by up to four months the payment date of amounts due through the business activity statement (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, fringe benefits tax assessments and excise
  • Allow businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting in order to get quicker access to GST refunds they may be entitled to
  • Allowing businesses to vary Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalment amounts to zero for the April 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters
  • Remitting any interest and penalties, incurred on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities
  • Working with affected businesses to help them pay their existing and ongoing tax liabilities by allowing them to enter into low interest payment plans.

The ATO will also work with individuals experiencing financial hardship and will apply tax relief measures for serious and exceptional circumstances, such as where people cannot pay for food or accommodation.

Those impacted by Covid-19 are advised to contact the ATO to request assistance on 1800 806 218.

Updated at 4:20pm AEDT on 12 March 2020


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