ATO Support during Coronavirus

Due to the massive impact the Coronavirus is having on the cashflow of everyone, the ATO has released some measures to assist taxpayers to get through the current times. A statement by the commissioner stated:

“We know that many businesses and communities are being heavily affected by the challenging economic conditions created by the outbreak of COVID-19,” he said.

“The ATO will work shoulder-to-shoulder with businesses to assist them through this difficult period and do what we can to ease the pressure.

“Once you contact us, we’ll tailor a support plan for your needs and circumstances.

“Support measures could include deferral of some payments, quicker access to GST refunds, and options to enter low interest payment plans for existing or future tax debts.”

Some of the concessions being provided by the ATO 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
  • 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 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 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.

However, it is important to note that superannuation guarantee payments for your staff still need to be made by the due dates. The next due date will be for the March 2020 quarter and will be due on the 28th of April 2020.

Unlike the bushfire relief measures, which applied automatically to particular geographic areas, assistance measures for those impacted by COVID-19 will not be automatically implemented.

Anyone impacted by COVID-19 is advised to contact the ATO to request assistance on our Emergency Support Infoline 1800 806 218, when they are ready, to discuss their situation.