I get this question a lot.
For example, I met with a client the other day who received $15,000 worth of fines for non-lodgement of activity statements.
Is there anything you can do to reverse these fines?
Yes, there is. Let me walk you through it.
1. Don’t ignore anything
The best thing you can do is engage with the ATO and find out exactly what the situation is.
Most of the time, people tend to ignore these things because they’re afraid to deal directly with the ATO. But guess what? Ignoring your situation will only make it worse.
My advice: Contact the ATO and find out exactly what you’re dealing with.
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2. Get all your paperwork up to date
It’s important to have all your paperwork sorted out. There’s no way the ATO will want to make any deal with you if you don’t.
Tip: Identify all the paperwork you need to have your business’ financial situation up to date.
3. Make a plan
Work out exactly how much you owe. Determine what you can afford. Be proactive.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s always best to come to the ATO with a solution, not a problem.
[ctt template=”7″ link=”L8Za8″ via=”no” ]It’s always best to come to the ATO with a solution, not a problem.[/ctt]
4. Time to act
Once your plan is all sorted out, be on the front foot and talk to the ATO.
Contrary to popular belief, they’re very reasonable to deal with as long as they can see you keep your word.
However, the worst thing you can do is set out a plan with the ATO and not keep it up to date. Don’t get me wrong, you can change your plan if you want to. Just make sure you give them a call before you do.
Friendly advice: If you want the ATO to be your friend, keep the ATO in the loop with your situation at all times.
Once you’ve made a solid plan with the ATO, it’s time to engage with them and ask them to remit your penalties.
Now, there’s no guarantee that they will.
But it’s definitely worth a try, isn’t it?
Make sure you follow this plan and I promise you: if the ATO sees you as a proactive individual who wants to fix things, they will be more likely to remit your penalties.
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- Try to understand your financial situation
- Be on the front foot with the ATO
- Come up with a viable and realistic plan
- Have all your activity statements lodged
- Get your accountant or your taxation adviser to act on your behalf with the ATO
I say the odds are in your favour!
If you’d like some assistance in making a deal with the ATO about your late activity lodgement, give me a call. We’re experts at talking with the ATO and can negotiate on your behalf.