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  • Key points

    This information should be read in conjunction with the Company tax return instructions and other products that provide detailed information on calculating assessable income and completing income tax returns.

    A number of large and consolidated entities have been incorrectly completing label T, the total amount of pay as you go (PAYG) instalments, on the company income tax return form.

    See also:

    Lodgment obligations

    Head companies

    The head company of a consolidated group lodges a single income tax return on behalf of the group as a whole.

    Where a group consolidates part way through an income year, the head company lodges a single return covering both its own activities up to the date of consolidation and the group's activities from the date of consolidation.

    Other things to note:

    • Indicate head company status at label Z1 – Consolidated head company (item 3 in Company tax return). This applies even if the company ceases to be a head company during the year of income. Note that the head company must separately notify us of its decision to consolidate by the time it lodges the group's first consolidated tax return.
    • Complete one set of schedules. The amounts on each Schedule are made up of two components - one covering the head company's own activities up to the date of consolidation and the other covering the group's activities from the date of consolidation.

    Subsidiary members

    An entity that is a subsidiary member of a consolidated group for the entire income year is not required to lodge an income tax return.

    But an entity that is a subsidiary member of a consolidated group for only part of an income year must lodge an income tax return accounting for the period (or periods) in which it was not part of a group. In these circumstances, the entity lodges a single return for the entire income year at the normal lodgment time, but includes only income and deductions attributable to the non-membership period (or periods).

    Other things to note in completing a return for one or more non-membership periods:

    • Indicate part-year membership of a consolidated group at label Z2 - Consolidated subsidiary member (item 3 in Company tax return), even if the entity is no longer a member of a consolidated group at 30 June.
    • Do not indicate this is part-year return at the top of page 1 of the return form. (Even though the return includes income and deductions attributable to the non-membership periods, the return is for the entire income year and is lodged at the usual time.)
    • Do not indicate this is a final return in the Final tax return field on page 1 of the Company tax return, as this will prevent setting of a PAYG instalment rate for the subsidiary, pending the head company being issued with a group instalment rate. (Until the head company is issued with a group PAYG instalment rate subsidiary members must continue to pay instalments at the prescribed rate.)
    • Subsidiaries lodging a return for the transitional income years 2002-03 and 2003-04 do not need to complete schedules for capital allowances, CGT, losses, thin capitalisation, Schedule 25A or R&D - but must keep adequate records to substantiate any claims in the return.
    • However, subsidiaries lodging a return do need to complete schedules for dividends and interest, PAYG and personal services income, if they are applicable (see Accompanying schedules).

    Lodgment timelines

    For lodgment and payment dates, refer to 'lodgment program' on the Prepare and lodge page.

    You won't be penalised if you make a genuine attempt to meet your obligations

    Some groups have been seeking deferrals for lodging their first consolidated return on the grounds that the rules are changing. However, we generally require groups to lodge by their due dates. This allows us to set a new group PAYG instalment rate, enabling the group to get the benefits of the consolidated PAYG instalment system as soon as possible.

    If a consolidated return later needs to be amended due to changes in the law, or new ATO rulings or determinations, we will take a fair and reasonable approach in relation to penalties and interest on any tax shortfall.

    Noting that with a major policy initiative such as consolidation it takes time for the rules to be finalised, the Commissioner has stated that taxpayers who have made a genuine attempt to meet their obligations under the consolidation provisions will have any shortfall penalties remitted in full, unless there is clear evidence to the contrary (media release - Nat 03/117 of 4 December 2003).

    See also:

    • Practice Statement PS LA 2007/11.
      • Our approach to the imposition of penalties and the GIC is spelt out in Administrative treatment of retrospective legislation. This is consistent with Practice Statement PS LA 2002/8 Administration of penalties under the new tax system.
    • Practice Statement PS LA 2002/8.
      • All requests for deferral of lodgment are dealt with on a case by case basis. Irrespective of whether a deferral is granted, due dates for payment of income tax liabilities remain the same.
      • Taxpayers and their advisers should be aware of our compliance issues and activities in relation to consolidation.
      Last modified: 01 Feb 2017QC 17844