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GST Compliance

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10 / Oct / 2011

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ATO hot on the button for GST compliance

The ATO recently announced a crackdown on GST liabilities.

What is the ATO targeting?

• Late BAS lodgers

• Incorrect information in the BAS

• GST evasion

• GST debts owed to the ATO

• Not registering for GST when required to do so

• Persistently exploiting bankruptcy

• Colluding with others to avoid GST

Given the ATO’s current aggressive revenue collection activity – it has never been more important to speak to your accountant and advisers.

Why persist with struggling along, when your accountant can take care of things for you.

How does the ATO know who to target?

The obvious ways the ATO gets information are:

• Failure to comply with lodgment deadlines

• Failure to pay off GST liabilities on time

• Data matching with other government authorities

• Small Business Benchmarks

However, there are other ways the ATO gets information.

What happens if you don’t lodge your BAS or income tax return on time?

If you have received a letter from the ATO, you just have to do what it says.

Generally, those letters require you to lodge your income tax return or BAS for a particular period by a set day.

If you fail to comply with the notice, the ATO has the option of commencing criminal proceedings against you.

A conviction for such a minor offence may have severe consequences if you’re a company director or trustee of a self managed super fund.

Usually, there’s no recovery once you are charged.

What happens if I get the BAS in on time but I can’t pay the debt?

It appears someone at the ATO is compassionate; at least towards small businesses.

The ATO has announced small business can apply for a General Interest Charge (GIC) holiday.

How can you get in on that action?

You may be eligible for a GIC-Holiday arrangement if your business:

  • has an annual turnover of less than $2 million
  • has a recent activity statement debt of $50,000 or less, which has been outstanding for no longer than 12 months
  • has a good payment and lodgment compliance history, including
  • no more than one payment arrangement default within the last 12 months
  • no outstanding activity statement lodgments
  • is unable to obtain short-term finance through normal business channels
  • is able to demonstrate ongoing viability
  • agrees to a sustainable direct debit payment arrangement that will allow the debt to be paid within 12 months

If this situation applies to you, talk it over with MJ Accountants. We can help you get  through this difficult time.

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