ATO underscores need for timely payments for tax and super


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reminding all taxpayers to pay their upcoming tax bill in full by the due date to avoid penalties and interest charges.

The reminder comes as most business activity statement payments are due in October, with monthly reports due on 21 October, quarterly reports due on 28 October and annual reports due on 31 October. Some may be eligible for additional time if they lodge online or through a tax professional.

Meanwhile, individuals and sole traders who lodge their own tax returns must pay their tax bill by 21 November 2023. The due date may be later for those who use a registered tax agent to lodge.

For taxpayers who choose not to engage and don’t pay on time, the ATO are warning that they will take “swift and decisive actions” that could include a director penalty notice, a garnishee, a disclosure of the business’s tax debt, and in some cases, legal action such as winding up a business.

Businesses are also reminded to pay their employees’ quarter one super guarantee by 28 October 2023. If an employer doesn’t pay their employees’ super by that date, they will need to lodge a super guarantee charge (SGC) statement and pay the SGC to the ATO. Late super payments are not tax deductible.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Jillian Kitto said that paying tax is not optional and anyone who misses their payment due date should not expect interest or penalties to be remitted.

“Businesses with employees must also pay their staff’s super on time,” Kitto said. “With several payment dates fast approaching, we are encouraging people to get their tax and super affairs in order and to engage with us prior to the deadline if they find themselves in financial difficulties.

“Our preferred approach is to work with you through engagement rather than enforcement, and we expect anyone who can’t pay on time to reach out to us or their tax professional before their bill is due If you can’t pay your tax bill in full, you may be eligible for a payment plan,” Kitto added. “However, it’s likely that you will be better off financially if you pay in full and on time, rather than arranging a payment plan.”

The ATO reminded that interest on overdue tax debts compounds daily at an annual rate of 11.15 per cent.

“It is in your best interest to engage with the ATO before the bill is due if you can’t pay in full and on time. This means engaging with us before it becomes a tax debt where interest will accrue daily, and before we take firmer action,” Kitto concluded.