Sometimes, completing your tax obligations is the last thing on your mind; trust us, we’ve heard it all! But with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) increasing their data matching capabilities and ramping up their enforcement of non-lodgers, it’s time to start bringing your returns to the front of your mind.
Income Tax Returns
If you still have outstanding prior year income tax returns, the lodgement deadline to have all these completed is the 31st October 2016.
If you have a tax agent lodge these outstanding returns for you by this date, then the due date for your 2016 tax return will reset in line with the normal lodgement program. This means that the due date for lodging your 2016 return may be extended all the way until the 5th June 2017, depending on eligibility.
If you’re lodging your own returns, then all the lodgements must be made by the 31st October deadline. The ATO says that coming to a tax agent after this date may not guarantee that the due date of your 2016 return will be extended either, whether you have outstanding prior year returns or not.
Business Activity Statements
As a business owner we’re sure you’ve thought to yourself every time it comes around to BAS time, “not again…I don’t have time for this” or “I don’t have the money this week, I’ll leave it to later…” and then put it on the back burner, only to forget and lodge late. This is another area that the ATO are cracking down on. They are becoming tougher with the issuing of penalties for those that repeatedly lodge late, sometimes even if it is only a week or two late.
As with Income Tax Returns, tax agents also receive concessional lodgement deadlines for quarterly Business Activity Statements. Generally, lodging through a tax agent gives you another 4 weeks to have your BAS lodged, with the added bonus of the due date for payment being extended in line with this. That extra time to pay can sometimes be a life saver and could save you a general interest charge that you may otherwise incur.
The ATO of course prefers a ‘soon rather than later’ approach to all your different tax or reporting obligations, so if you do have a few income tax returns or BAS sitting around that you’ve been meaning to bring up to date, get in touch with your tax agent. Leaving it until the ATO come knocking (theoretically of course) can often mean a bigger, costlier headache than jumping on the front foot.
If you’d like to make an appointment to speak to one of our accountants, get in touch below.