ATO launches dedicated COVID-19 resource
The Australian Tax Office has now launched a dedicated coronavirus web page to guide the tax profession and their clients through the government’s $84 billion stimulus package.
The ATO has now updated its website with essential information about tax and superannuation changes that have now become law following the passage of the government’s economic support package through the Parliament.
The package includes various measures, including a supercharged instant asset write-off, accelerating depreciation deductions, the tax-free cash payments to small and medium businesses, and access to the early release of superannuation.
“Each of the measures have different timings, eligibility and processes. Some will be applied automatically and others will require an application, so I recommend heading to ato.gov.au/coronavirus to understand what is possible,” said Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan.
Mr Jordan also reiterated his agency’s commitment to helping the community deal with the impact of COVID-19.
“In these difficult and uncertain times, the ATO is doing everything it can to reduce stress from tax and super-related obligations,” Mr Jordan said.
“Our message to businesses feeling the impact of the coronavirus is simply this: Let us know. Reach out to us. We can help.
“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.”
Some of the ATO’s measures include up to a six-month deferral of the payment date of amounts due through the business activity statement, including PAYG instalments, income tax assessments, fringe benefits tax assessments and excise.
The ATO will also allow quarterly GST reporting businesses to opt in to monthly GST reporting in order to get quicker access to GST refunds they may be entitled to.
Businesses will be allowed to vary pay-as-you-go (PAYG) instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter and be allowed to claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters.
Interest and penalties applied to tax liabilities that were incurred after 23 January 2020 will also be remitted.
Businesses that have existing and ongoing tax liabilities will also be allowed to enter into low-interest payment plans.