Tax amnesty won’t forgive debt but may not apply a penalty

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Did you fail to lodge a tax return during the chaos of COVID and natural disasters? You may be able to confess your sins to the Australian Tax Office without attracting significant penalties.

The Lodgement Penalty Amnesty Program was announced in the 2023-24 Federal Budget and gives a break to small businesses with an aggregated annual turnover below $10 million.

It covers payments that were due between 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2022, and 7,200 small businesses have used the scheme since it launched on 1 June.

The amnesty ends on 31 December. Businesses aren’t excused their debt but instead enter into a payment plan.

Companies wanting to use the scheme need to file their overdue payments themselves or through a registered tax or Business Activity Statement agent.