Small business lodgement penalty amnesty

In an effort to support small businesses struggling with inflation hikes and high cost pressures, small businesses with aggregate turnover of less than $10m will be given an amnesty which will remit failure-to-lodge penalties for outstanding tax statements lodged in the period from 1 June 2023 to 31 December 2023 that were originally due between 1 December 2019 to 29 February 2022.

Taxpayers who fail to lodge tax returns and other documents by the due date or, if required, in the “approved form” are liable to a penalty under Tax Administration Act sch 1 of Div 286.

A small business entity may attract the following maximum penalties for failure-to-lodge returns:

  • 1st offence: Fine of 20 penalty units which amounts to $4,440
  • 2nd offence: Fine of 40 penalty units which amounts to $8,880
  • 3rd and each subsequent offence: Fine of 250 penalty units which amounts to $55,500

Approved forms

The requirements for a return, notice, statement, application or other document under a taxation law to be an approved form are set out in TAA Sch 1 s 388-50. For example, the BAS is the approved form for lodging a GST return and notifying PAYG withholding amounts, PAYG instalments and other tax instalments.

Failure to lodge a BAS on time or in the approved form could result in multiple applications of the administrative penalty, depending on the number of tax obligations that were reportable. Each kind of payment imposes a separate notification obligation for penalty purposes.

Contact us

If your business falls under the relevant periods that are eligible to receive amnesty for failure-to-lodge penalties, please feel free to contact our office and we will walk you through the process of application.


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