ATO using external agencies for some overdue lodgements

(Source – CPA Australia)

Starting in November 2018, the ATO have begun referring taxpayers that have overdue lodgement obligations to an external collection agency to follow up the overdue returns and activity statements.

From the end of November, the ATO will begin sending letters directly to affected taxpayers’ nominated addresses. This letter will ask taxpayers to seek their agents help to get their obligations up to date or to contact the ATO immediately. If they take no action, the ATO will refer them to an external collection agency.

The ATO will notify agents via email of their affected clients. Agents will also receive an example of the letter the ATO will send to their clients.

The ATO (on their website) has now updated the information it provides taxpayers if they don’t lodge.

If you don’t lodge

Tax returns, activity statements, other documents and information must be lodged or returned by certain dates.

If you can’t lodge by the due date, you should contact us as soon as possible so we can work together to reduce the risk of a penalty.

If you don’t lodge on time:

The ATO may contact you after the due date by    

  • SMS,
    • messages in MyGov,
    • letters,
    • phone.
  • a penalty may be applied,
  • The ATO may refer selected lodgment obligations to an external collection agency to obtain lodgment on our behalf,
  • The ATO may take stronger action if you are unwilling to work with them to address your lodgment obligations or do not meet agreements to lodge.

Failure to lodge on time penalty

If you don’t lodge on time, a failure to lodge on time penalty may apply.

External collection agencies

The ATO may refer some overdue lodgments to external collection agencies to obtain lodgment on our behalf. They may notify you or your agent before referring your overdue lodgment to an external collection agency.

Are your returns or other lodgement requirements overdue? The ATO is now starting to contact those taxpayers with overdue obligations and will not be shy about imposing penalties also. Contact us immediately to sort out your overdue obligations before the ATO do so. The penalties for not getting up to date could be quite harsh!

Beware – private use of business cars

During November 2018, the ATO will also be writing to clients that have cars registered in their business name and have not lodged a fringe benefits tax return in the past.

This is just a friendly reminder that a car fringe benefit occurs when a business owns or leases a car and makes it available for their employees’ private travel. Don’t forget, business directors are also employees.

Private use of a company car includes:

employees using the car for private travel, such as travel between work and home,

garaging the car at or near an employees’ home and making it available for private use – even if the car is not used by the employee.

Worried about whether this affects you, contact us immediately to find out more.

Money saving Tips

Leading into Christmas, many people will get into financial trouble. They will spend too much buying gifts that are well beyond what their wages or their budget allows.

Do you have enough money to pay for what you want?

Are you just spending on a credit card and it will take you until next Christmas to pay it back?

Sound familiar, well here are some simple money management tips that can help you:

1. Create a comprehensive budget or plan before you go shopping – write down how much money you receive from your wages or other sources. Compare that to all of your expenses, including the gifts you would like to buy to ensure you have enough money to cover everything you need.

2. Eliminate unnecessary costs – make a list of your current bills and their due dates and be sure to pay your bills on time to avoid late fees and penalty charges.

3. Find ways to pay less interest on your debts:

  • Focus on paying off debts with the highest interest rate first
  • Keep up with required payments (such as monthly minimums) on all your debts
  • Consolidate your debts into an “all-in-one” type of bank account or a secure line of credit so you can make a single payment each month

4. Set clear goals to help accelerate your savings – write down all the things you’re saving for, then work out how much you need to set aside each month to reach your goals in the timeframe you want then “pay” yourself this amount each month as if it is another bill.

5. Don’t pay more tax than you need to – this is where we as your accountant will make sure that this doesn’t happen.

6. Use technology to:

  • Set up payment reminders
  • Schedule future bill payments
  • Review your spending

7. Save for retirement now, regardless of your age – the earlier you start, the easier it will be later on.

8. Build a network of Advisors—reduce financial stress and start to feel financially secure:

  • Get help setting goals
  • Develop a customized financial plan
  • Prepare strategically for life’s financial milestones

This last tip may be the most important. People who feel financially secure are more likely to be working with an advisor than those who say they are struggling with their money. If you don’t have an advisor, we can help you – contact us immediately.

Co-working space on the way

In 2019, Financially Sorted will be in a position to offer an all inclusive, convenient and affordable office alternative to small businesses.

This will come in the form of professional desk space with access to amenities, meeting rooms and more.

The details are still being confirmed, but if you are thinking that you need to ‘get sorted’ in the new year (or know someone that does), stay tuned for more details…

For Your Calendar…

  • 1 Dec Pay income tax for taxable large/medium taxpayers, companies and super funds

    Pay income tax for companies and super funds

  • 21 Dec Lodge and pay November 2018 monthly business activity statement

  • 15 Jan Lodge tax return for taxable large/medium entities as per the latest year lodged

  • 21 Jan Lodge and pay quarter 2, 2018–19 PAYG instalment activity statement

    Lodge and pay December 2018 monthly business activity statement

  • 28 Jan Make quarter 2, 2018–19 super guarantee contributions to funds by this date