Small business (debt) – Owner of Wilson Transport
‘Because I spoke to the ATO early about the short term trouble we were going to have with our cash flow I could easily organise and manage a payment plan.’
One of our biggest clients recently went under. After all of the creditors took their share there was very little left of the money they owed us. We wanted to do the right thing and pay our tax on time but the funds just weren’t there.
My wife and I own a small trucking company.
We have been operating for over 20 years and love running our business. I do the books and look after the trucks and our drivers.
Everyone is a bit quiet at the moment and a lot of business are struggling. We used to have three major clients but recently one went bankrupt and we didn’t get paid. This coincided with some of our trucks also needing major servicing and our cash-flow was hit hard.
I use accounting software to run our business and manage our tax affairs online. Normally, I would use webchat to speak with the ATO but I wanted to speak to a real person about our situation. I was able to easily book a time on the weekend to receive a call. While I could have spoken to someone after hours during the week, weekends are really the only time for me to manage the books.
Matt from the ATO called on time and was very helpful. He showed me a tool that I could use to assess our business viability, which was available through my accounting software, an ATO app or online. After using the tool we entered into a payment plan to get us back on track. He showed me how we could adjust our payments for future periods and how we could increase these payments when work picked up. There was also a simulator that showed me what we would save if we could increase our payments over the agreed period of the plan.
While we were talking, Matt noted that our BAS hadn’t been received and was overdue. When I looked into it I saw that my software stopped the lodgment and asked me to upload a copy of a repair invoice. I did this and immediately lodged the BAS. I was also able to set up an automatic SMS reminder so that we didn’t miss any future lodgments.
Matt also told us about a new relief payment for business that supported primary industries. He helped me navigate to the relevant website and I applied online while we were talking.
I would recommend to other business owners that they talk to the ATO if they have any problems – the earlier the better.
What the ATO does
- We simplify and automate interactions for Shane, making it easier to comply.
- We provide online tools that assist Shane to make informed decisions about the health of his business and his ability to comply with future obligations.
- We provide real time advice that suits Shane, interacting at a time that allows him to concentrate on running his business.
- We use tools to assess the viability of business and negotiate/tailor solutions that support viable business.
How the ATO behaves
- We understand and consider our clients' circumstances and offer prompt services tailored to their circumstances.
- We provide the right answer, at the right time and in the right way.
- We willingly share information, insights and experience.
- We continuously simplify and improve the way we do things.