Articles

7 tips for a successful phone call to the ATO

If you're stressed about making a call to the ATO, then these 7 steps will help. As a tax disputes expert, I spend a lot of time on the phone to the ATO, sorting out problems for my clients. I follow these steps for every phone call I make - and you should too. 1. Call ...

How the ATO uses legal action to collect tax debts from an individual

These are the steps that the ATO takes when it starts legal action to recover a tax debt from an individual (i.e. as a sole trader, an employee, or a partner in a partnership). Different steps apply for a company that owes the ATO a tax debt. When will the ATO use legal action ...

How the ATO default administrative penalty is calculated, and what you can do to reduce it

If you don’t lodge a tax return or statement with the ATO when it is due, the ATO can send you a default assessment or a notice of estimate. This means that the ATO makes an estimate of your tax and charges you that amount. The worst thing about a default assessment or a ...

The ATO’s ‘because I said so’ rule – the conclusive evidence rule

If you find yourself with a tax debt, it is important to know about the conclusive evidence rule. You need to know that a tax debt is not like most other debts. Tax debts have a special status under the tax law. This special status weighs in the ATO’s favour. Usually, if a creditor wants ...

Remission of the general interest charge – the tax consequences

When you don't pay a tax debt on time, the ATO imposes a 'general interest charge' (the GIC). The ATO has the discretion to remit the general interest charge (i.e. remove it from your account). The law is very specific about when the ATO can allow a remission. You should be careful when you make ...

Setting up your sole trader business for success

I help a lot of sole traders to deal with their tax debt. Often, they don't have a system in place to save for tax, and they come unstuck early in their business. Here are 3 steps a sole trader can take to prepare their business for tax success. The sooner you take these steps, ...

Why a notice of estimate of liability from the ATO means trouble

The ATO can issue a 'Notice of estimate of liability' (or an 'Estimate Notice') if it believes that you have overdue: pay as you go (PAYG) withholding amounts; or superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) that has not been assessed. An Estimate Notice is a formal notice that the ATO can issue under section 268-15 of Schedule 1 ...

Don’t get caught out by an ATO default assessment

A default assessment is an assessment of income tax issued to you by the ATO, based on the amount of tax that the ATO thinks you should pay. The ATO can issue a default assessment in two situations: Where you have not lodged a return, notice or another document that you must to lodge.  ...
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