DFK Gooding Partners

March 19, 2020

Register your interest for Job Keeper Payment here

The ATO has invited all eligible businesses to register their interest and to receive updates as we await the release of draft legislation, the reconvening of parliament to pass the legislation scheduled for 8 April 2020.

Small and Medium business – ATO assistance – announced 12 March 2020

Businesses impacted by COVID-19 must first contact the ATO on the Emergency Support Infoline (Ph: 1800 806 218) to have a tailored program of assistance provided or contact us for further assistance.

Options available to assist eligible businesses include:

  • Deferring amounts due by up to four months for business activity statements (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, fringe benefits tax assessments and excise tax
  • Allow businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting in order to get quicker access to GST refunds they may be entitled to
  • Allowing businesses to vary PAYG instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters
  • Remitting any interest and penalties, incurred on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities
  • Working with affected businesses to help them pay their existing and ongoing tax liabilities by allowing them to enter into low interest payment plans.

Further information is available on the ATO website. 

Large Business – Tailored arrangements: administrative and technical issues

The previously announced administrative measures that only applied to small and medium business taxpayers will not automatically be implemented for large business taxpayers.

The ATO will consider entering into “tailored support arrangements” with large business taxpayers affected by COVID-19 depending on individual circumstances.

This may include the previously announced administrative measures such as PAYG variation, payment deferral, adjustments to GST reporting cycle and interest and penalty remission.

The ATO acknowledges that large businesses may require tailored arrangements in respect of broader issues. In particular, the ATO lists the following issues.

  • PAYGW issues for your employees
  • Fringe benefits tax
  • GST
  • Tax residency
  • Permanent establishments
  • Thin capitalisation
  • Lodgement implications
  • Responding to ATO information requests
  • Compliance engagements

The ATO does not provide examples of the types of tailored arrangements that might be entered into regarding the issues listed above, presumably the focus will be on supporting business cash flow, meeting tax obligations and adopting a pragmatic stance in respect of issues like tax residency and permanent establishments.

Taxpayers requiring support can obtain assistance through the ATO’s Large Services Team or their dedicated ATO relationship manager.