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Avoid Hefty Fines: Key ATO Dates to Remember

Avoid Hefty Fines: Key ATO Dates to Remember

Australians are being cautioned about the possibility of incurring a $313 penalty if they fail to observe two critical Australian Taxation Office (ATO) deadlines looming ahead.
As tax season approaches, individuals must take note of these important dates to avoid fines.

The end of the financial year is marked by July 1, a significant date for all working Australians. But equally important is October 31, which is the default due date for filing tax returns, as set by the ATO. For those with tax agents, some flexibility with deadlines is granted, but for those handling their taxes independently, meeting the October 31 deadline is crucial.

Missing the filing deadline may lead to a "failure to lodge on time penalty," which can prove costly. The fine starts at one penalty unit, which currently amounts to $313, emphasizing the importance of submitting tax returns promptly. For each subsequent 28-day period that a tax return remains unfiled, the fine can stack up, potentially totaling up to $1565 after five penalty units.

For medium and large entities, the stakes are even higher. Such organizations face fines up to two to five times greater than those for individuals. Under normal circumstances, the ATO issues a warning via telephone or written correspondence. Upon imposition of a fine, the ATO articulates its reasoning, specifies the fine amount, and states the payment deadline.

Fortunately, there is provision for leniency within the ATO's system, especially under extenuating circumstances such as personal illness or natural disasters. The ATO reserves the right to offer remission of fines on a case-by-case basis.

Submission of an annual tax return is a legal obligation. Neglecting this duty triggers more than just fines; the ATO can issue a default assessment—a costly penalty for non-compliance. The default assessment includes a sizeable 75 percent administrative penalty of the tax owed—meaning for every $100 in tax debt, an additional $75 penalty is applied.

The ATO's repercussion measures also extend to audits and potential prosecution, further emphasizing the gravity of timely and accurate tax return submissions. Taxpayers should ensure they are prepared for tax season and seek assistance if required to avoid unnecessary financial burdens.

Published:Tuesday, 23rd Apr 2024
Source: Paige Estritori

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