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  • Additional support during COVID-19

    We are offering additional support to help you during this difficult time.

    On this page:

    Who to contact

    If you’re an individual, sole trader, small or medium business and you're having difficulty meeting your tax and super obligations because of COVID-19, you can:

    • phone our Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218
    • speak with a trusted tax advisor
    • talk to someone in your language Monday to Friday between 8.00am and 5.00pm. Phone the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 13 14 50. Tell the operator the language you speak and ask them to phone us on 1800 806 218
    • phone our Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
    • contact us through the National Relay ServiceExternal Link (NRS) if you have difficulty hearing or speaking to people who use a phone
    • talk to your tax or BAS agent so they can work with us to support you to manage your tax affairs
    • contact our Large Service Team if you're a large business for support and advice about tax administration or technical issues affecting your business.

    Lodgment or payment

    We have various options available to help you during this time.

    Super payments

    If you are an employer, you need to meet super guarantee obligations for your employees. By law, we can't vary the contribution due date or waive the super guarantee charge.

    By lodging a Superannuation guarantee charge statement to us within a month of the quarterly due date, you will avoid additional penalties. If you can’t pay in full, we will work with you to set up a payment plan.

    See also:

    Payment deferrals

    It's important to lodge your activity statements and tax returns on time, even if you can't pay by the due date.

    If you’re worried you won’t be able to pay on time or you’ve already missed a due date, contact us as early as possible to discuss your situation. We have a range of options to support you.

    We may be able to defer payment due dates and stop interest accruing for your income tax payments that were due after 23 January 2020, fringe benefits tax (FBT) and excise. We can assist you to pay by instalments by setting up a payment plan.

    If you are entitled to a refund, you don’t need to contact us. We will process your return as quickly as we can. If you are expecting to have an amount to pay from your assessment, contact us after you lodge. Then we can ensure you are not charged a late lodgment penalty.

    If you use a tax professional to lodge on your behalf, you may have a different deferred due date. Contact your registered tax or BAS agent to check your due date for lodgment or payment.

    If you lodge online, you may be eligible for an extra two weeks to lodge and pay your quarterly activity statement.

    You cannot defer due dates for tax payments that were already due before 23 January 2020. However, you can request:

    • remission of interest that has accrued on those debts from 23 January 2020
    • to pay by instalments by setting up a payment plan.

    See also:

    Payment plans

    If you or your business has been affected by COVID-19 and you need help to pay your existing and ongoing tax liabilities, contact us to discuss setting up a payment plan to pay in instalments.

    If you are a business with a payment plan already in place, we can work with you to adjust your repayments to something that is manageable within your circumstances.

    Individuals with a payment plan in place can suspend, vary or cancel their payment plan. We can make sure you are not charged interest on the outstanding debt while you are affected by COVID-19.

    Remitting interest and penalties

    If you or your business is affected by COVID-19, we will consider remitting interest and penalties incurred after 23 January 2020.

    If the interest or penalties were incurred before 23 January 2020, you should still contact us as we can:

    • consider whether your circumstances before 23 January 2020 would make a remission of interest or penalties appropriate
    • arrange to stop interest being charged while you are affected by COVID-19, and for the duration of a payment plan if you put one in place.

    See also:

    Varying your PAYG instalments

    If you are a pay as you go (PAYG) instalment payer, you can vary your PAYG instalments on your activity statement if you have been affected by COVID-19.

    We will not apply penalties or charge interest to varied instalments that relate to the 2020–21 income year, when you have made your best attempt to estimate your end of year tax liability.

    This applies to 30 June ordinary balancers for the 2021 income year and entities that have been granted a substituted accounting period (SAP). For an entity with a SAP, any variation must relate to instalments made during your 2021 income year.

    We encourage you to review your tax position regularly throughout the year. You can vary your PAYG instalments as your situation changes.

    If you realise you've made a mistake working out your PAYG instalment, you can correct it by lodging a revised activity statement or varying a subsequent instalment.

    See also:

    Changing your GST reporting cycle

    If you report quarterly and you are due for a GST refund, moving to monthly reporting means you can get quicker access to GST refunds you are entitled to. Before you make the change, you should be aware that:

    • changing your GST reporting cycle doesn't mean you have to change your PAYG withholding reporting cycle – you can manage this by specifying the roles you are changing
    • you will need to tell us in the first month of the relevant quarter so you can start your new cycle from that quarterly period. Otherwise, the new cycle will take effect from the start of your next quarter
    • once you choose to report and pay GST monthly, you must keep reporting monthly for 12 months before you can elect to revert to quarterly reporting
    • if you're registered for fuel tax credits and change your GST reporting from quarterly to monthly, you will also need to claim your fuel tax credits monthly.

    You can change your GST reporting cycle either:

    • through your tax or BAS agent
    • in the Business Portal
    • by phoning us on 13 28 66.

    Note: If your GST turnover is more than $20 million you must pay and report monthly.

    Deferring GST payments for importers

    If you are a GST-registered importer you may apply to defer your payments of GST on all taxable importations into Australia. This means instead of paying GST on your taxable imports upfront, you can defer payment until the first activity statement lodged after the goods are imported.

    When you lodge your application for deferred GST we will backdate the GST cycle to help with your cash flow. This means that if you apply in the second or third month of a quarter, we will update your lodgment cycle from quarterly to monthly. This will take effect from the first month of that quarter (July, October, January or April). You will need to lodge all the monthly activity statements for that quarter.

    This will give you quicker access to any GST refunds you are entitled to.

    See also:

    Offshore providers of low-value goods, services and digital products

    If you supply low-value goods or digital products to Australia as a limited registration entity (LRE), you may be facing difficulty in your ability to meet your Australian GST obligations.

    If you are experiencing difficulties, we want you to contact us so we can help with:

    • lodging your GST return if you are having problems accessing our simplified system
    • paying the GST you have collected from your customers if you can’t use your usual method
    • arranging a deferral of your obligation to lodge a GST return and pay the GST in some situations
    • requesting remission of any interest or penalties that may have been applied.

    Next step:

    Statement of tax record

    If you are a business tendering for an Australian Government contract over $4 million and receive an unsatisfactory statement of tax record, we will:

    • contact you to discuss options to correct this
    • where possible, assist you in fast-tracking corrections such as obtaining a lodgment deferral or payment plan.

    See also:

    Apply for administrative relief for Division 7A minimum yearly repayments

    Some borrowers may be facing challenges in making minimum yearly repayments (MYR) on their Division 7A loans by the end of the lender’s 2019–20 income year. If you are concerned that you are unable to meet your repayments, you may be able to apply for an extension of time under the streamlined application process. You must make up the shortfall of your MYR by 30 June 2021.

    Next step:

    Last modified: 20 Jan 2021QC 62023