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  • Significant global entities - administrative penalties

    From 1 July 2017, there have been increases to the administrative penalties for significant global entities (SGEs).

    Find out about:

    Avoiding penalties

    It is the responsibility of the SGE to be aware of their lodgment obligations and review their reporting obligations to ensure they avoid the imposition of administrative penalties.

    SGEs can avoid administrative penalties by lodging on time and without error. Where needed, it is recommended to request a lodgment deferral as soon as possible to defer the due date to with assist lodging on time.

    Whilst there are some circumstances where taxpayers are reminded to lodge, we generally do not provide a reminder. Not having received a reminder will not be grounds for either non-imposition or remission of a penalty.

    Tax agents

    SGEs are responsible for ensuring all forms are lodged on or before their due date. However, if a registered tax agent or BAS agent lodges the document late, and the SGE had provided them with all relevant information to enable them to lodge the return, notice, statement or other document by the due date, the SGE may not be liable to the penalty. This is referred to as safe harbour.

    The SGE carries the burden of proof to establish that they provided all relevant information as required to the tax agent.

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    Lodgment deferrals

    Lodgment deferrals should be requested as soon as practicable once it is believed that a lodgment due date is unlikely to be met. If the entity lodges after the deferred due date it will be considered a failure to lodge on time and SGE penalties may be applied.

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    Administrative penalties

    Since 1 July 2017, administrative penalties have doubled for SGEs that either:

    • make false or misleading statements
    • fail to have a reasonably arguable position
    • fail to provide a document where the document is necessary for the Commissioner of Taxation to determine a tax-related liability accurately.

    Failure to lodge on time (FTL) penalties will increase for lodgments of approved forms with a due date on or after 1 July 2017.

    Since 1 July 2020 the FTL penalty range for SGEs has been from $111,000 (for documents up to 28 days late) up to $555,000 (if more than 16 weeks late). Taxpayers will receive a penalty notice when an FTL penalty is applied.

    Since 5 December 2019 the increased penalties for SGEs mentioned above also apply to SGE subsidiary members of a consolidated group or a multiple entry consolidated group.

    SGEs have the same remission options as all taxpayers.

    PSLA 2011/19 outlines instances where we will consider remission of FTL penalties, including where:

    • circumstances are beyond the control of the entity
    • it is fair and reasonable to remit
    • not remitting would result in an unjust result.

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    Warnings before applying penalties

    A warning is not required under the law. SGEs should therefore lodge all documents on time or if this is not possible, request a lodgment deferral. However, we will generally issue a warning or reminder prior to imposing a late lodgment penalty, regardless of SGE status.

    In assessing any FTL we will account for individual circumstances, including the compliance and overall lodgment history of the SGE. As such, previous warnings for different form types will be considered in reaching a decision on whether to impose an FTL penalty. If there has been a reasonable period of good compliance and lodgment, this will be considered even if the taxpayer had received a warning in the past.

    If an SGE has received previous warnings, they should be extra vigilant to ensure all future lodgments are made on time.

    Forms

    The increased FTL penalties will apply in respect of all approved forms required to be lodged by SGEs, if not lodged on time.

    Approved forms that are discretionary, such as voluntary disclosures or objection requests, cannot have FTL penalties applied.

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    Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

    We will apply the increased SGE penalties on the reporting requirements under Common reporting standard (CRS) legislation effective 1 July 2017. These CRS reports comprise of statements required to be lodged in an approved form.

    COVID Concession (applicable during specified dates)

    We encourage you to lodge on time or when this is not possible to request a deferred due date.

    However, if you lodged late due to the effects of COVID-19, we would have automatically remitted the failure to lodge on time penalties applied to SGEs in specified circumstances.

    If lodgment of an approved form including the general purpose financial statement (GPFS), was less than 30 days late, we would have remitted the failure to lodge on time SGE penalty to nil for the period until 14 August 2020, if both the following applied:

    • You were unable to lodge the approved form (including the GPFS) due to circumstances beyond your control as a direct result of COVID-19.
    • The failure to lodge on time SGE penalty was incurred after 23 January 2020 and on or before 14 August 2020.

    Despite the penalty remission, you still needed to make your payments on time.

    We will continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19 and will update our guidance as further developments occur.

    Last modified: 20 Aug 2020QC 52848