I’ve got a building client which I saw the other day. They haven’t lodged an activity statement for the last fifteen months. They’ve got $15,000 worth of fines for non-lodgement of activity statements.
If you’ve been doing it late for a long time, they don’t want to talk to you. But there’s a way to get through it. I’m going to go through that for you.
1. Don’t ignore anything
You need to engage with the ATO and find out exactly what the situation is.
2. Get your paperwork up to date
There’s no way they’re going to make any deals with you unless everything’s up to date.
3. Make a plan
Work out exactly how much you owe. Put your forms in and know what you can afford so you can be proactive. Come to the ATO with a solution, not a problem.
4. Time to Act
Once you have your plan sorted and you have everything lodged, be on the front foot. Talk to the ATO and work out a plan with them. They’re very reasonable as long as you keep your word.
The worst thing you can do is set out a plan with the ATO and not keep it up to date. You can change the plan if you want, but give them a call before. Keep them in the loop with where things are at and they’ll work with you.
Once you’ve made a plan with the ATO, it’s time to engage with them and ask to remit your penalties. There’s no guarantee that they will.
But by understanding, by being on the front foot with them, coming up with a plan, having everything lodged and getting your accountant or your taxation adviser to act on your behalf with the ATO it’s more than likely they’ll remit the penalties.