Articles

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.  ...

The ATO sent a garnishee notice to my bank – now what?

One of the tools in the ATO’s tax debt collection arsenal is a garnishee notice. These can be issued to anyone who owes you money, requiring them to pay that money to the ATO instead. If you'd like to know more about how the ATO uses garnishee notices and who it can issue ...

Using ATO in-house facilitation to resolve tax disputes

I recently represented a client in a drawn out dispute with the ATO about how the tax law applied to a particular amount of money. We had applied for a Private Ruling, but we didn’t get the answer we wanted. Instead of objecting to that Private Ruling (click here to find out why), we lodged ...

Why objecting to a private ruling can be a very bad idea

Usually, when you disagree with a decision made by the ATO, you lodge an objection. You can object to most decisions made by the ATO, including a private ruling. Even though you can object to a private ruling, you should consider whether you should. What is a private ruling? The tax law says that the ...

Departure Prohibition Orders – how the ATO can stop you from leaving Australia by issuing a DPO

The ATO has the power to stop a taxpayer from leaving the country if they owe a tax debt. It can do this by issuing a Departure Prohibition Order. Once the ATO issues a DPO, you cannot leave Australia until the tax debt is fully paid or you reach a settlement with the ATO. DPOs ...
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