The ATO has a number of assistance packages which can help contractors who are paid through their own Australian Pty Ltd companies. So, if this is you and you’re having trouble meeting your tax obligations due to the impact of COVID-19 on your work, you’re not alone. However, it’s important that you don’t ‘bury your head in the sand’ and hope things will come right soon, or that you’ll be let off the hook by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
ATO Contractor Assistance
The ATO is aware that many contractors and businesses in Australia have been impacted by COVID-19 and in response has offered the following to make things a little easier:
- If you are a pay as you go (PAYG) instalments payer, you can vary your PAYG instalments on your activity statement. You may also be able to claim a refund for any instalments made during the 2019–20 financial year.
- Where you choose to vary your PAYG instalments, you won’t be charged a penalty or interest on varied instalments for the 2019–20 financial year.
- The ATO may be able to arrange a low interest payment plan to help you pay your existing and ongoing tax liabilities.
- If you are registered for GST, you report quarterly and you are due for a GST refund, moving to monthly reporting will give you quicker access to GST refunds. Click here to find out more about the consequences of making this change.
Additionally, the ATO has announced that, unlike previous years, it will not make GDP-based adjustments to Pay as You Go (PAYG) instalments in the 2020-21 year.
This is good news for contractors who make regular PAYG instalments as a way of contributing towards their expected end of year income tax liability. However, it is still important to have an understanding of how much tax you will need to pay for the 2020-21 financial year so that you can plan (and put money aside) accordingly.
If you think you will pay too much (or too little) tax for the 2020–21 year, you must vary your instalments.
If you’re having difficulty meeting your tax and super obligations because of COVID-19, don’t delay. Contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 or speak with your tax advisor.
At the Ayers Group, our experts are on hand to relieve you of the administrative burden that comes with managing your contract, financial, tax and legal obligations. By accessing our services and tapping into our network of professional experts, you can be free to focus on innovation and wealth development.
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