Giving business a hand during tax time

Business should reach out

A suite of options have been approved by Parliament to help Australian businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian Tax Office website is now updated with the most current information about the first round of packages and incentives.

Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan urged businesses to visit, but to also reach out to the ATO for support.

"If you're impacted by COVID-19 and require immediate assistance, contact us to request support on our emergency support infoline on 1800 806 218," Mr Jordan said.

"If you do not require immediate assistance you can contact us, when you're ready, to discuss your situation."

Options available to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 include:

  • Deferring by up to six months the payment date of amounts due through the business activity statement (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, fringe benefits tax assessments and excise
  • Allowing 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 March 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 January 23, 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.

"Businesses wanting to utilise any of these options can contact us over the coming weeks," Mr Jordan said. "It is not necessary for businesses to contact us immediately.

"Employers will still need to meet their ongoing super guarantee obligations for their employees."

The ATO will also work with individuals experiencing financial hardship and their tax agents, and will apply appropriate tax relief measures for serious and exceptional circumstances.