6. Self-assessment for Indirect Taxes
Self-assessment applies to GST, LCT, WET and fuel tax credits and applies to tax periods commencing on or after 1 July 2012. On lodgement of the return, the Commissioner will be taken to have made an assessment of the taxpayer's assessable amount worked out in accordance with the information stated in the return. The return is treated as being a notice of assessment issued on the day the activity statement is lodged. No other notice of assessment will be issued.
Once the Commissioner makes an assessment a four year period of review applies where the Commissioner may amend a taxpayer’s assessment at the taxpayer’s request or at his discretion. The period of review commences when the Commissioner first gives the taxpayer a notice of assessment and ends four years and one day after the notice of assessment is given. Once the period of review has expired, the assessment can no longer be amended unless there is a refreshed period of review or the period of review is extended or an exception applies. Multiple amendments may be made during the period of review.
The Commissioner can amend an assessment at any time:
- If the Commissioner is of the opinion that there has been fraud or evasion
- To give effect to a declaration made by the Commissioner under the anti-avoidance rules
- As a result of an objection made by a taxpayer, or pending a review or appeal
- To give effect to a private ruling requested by the taxpayer during the period of review
- In response to a request for amendment in the approved form made by the entity within the period of review.
The period of review may be extended by Federal Court order or by taxpayer consent.
The time limit for claiming GST and fuel tax credits may be different from the period of review. Taxpayers must claim GST and fuel tax credits within four years of the due date for lodgement of the BAS in which the credits are first attributable. If the credits are not claimed within this four-year period, a taxpayer’s entitlement to the credits ceases.
Where an assessment is amended during the period of review, it is subject to a refreshed four-year period of review, but only for the particular that has been amended. Because the refreshed period of review relates only to the amended particular, it does not open the entire activity statement to a further four-year period of review. If there are multiple amendments to the same particular during the period of review, the refreshed period of review starts from the last of the amendments to that particular.
There is only one refreshed period of review per particular, and only one further amendment is allowed within the refreshed period of review for that particular. If different particulars are amended in the period of review, a separate refreshed period of review applies for each particular. It is important for taxpayers to keep track of their amendments so they can identify whether they are able to apply for any further amendments for a relevant tax period. The refreshed period of review cannot be extended.
The Commissioner will issue guidance on the definition of what is a ‘particular’.
The time limit for claiming credits may not necessarily match the period of review – for example if the BAS is lodged early or late, the period of review will start from the day the BAS is lodged, but the four-year time limit for claiming credits still starts from the due date for lodgment of the BAS in which the credits were first claimable.
Where a taxpayer applies for an amendment using a revised activity statement (paper RBAS), or lodge electronically via ELS, ECI, SBR or portal, a notice of amended assessment will not issue when:
- The Commissioner amends the assessment in full as a result of the application (that is, the Commissioner fully accepts the taxpayer amounts), and
- The amendment is made during the period of review.
The application for amendment will be taken to be the notice of amended assessment issuing on the day the Commissioner adjusts the taxpayer’s running balance account. Where a taxpayer writes to the Commissioner during the period of review and this amendment application is accepted, this application will not be treated as a notice of amended assessment. The Commissioner will issue a notice of amended assessment.
It is important for taxpayers to keep track of their amendments and the period of review and refreshed period of review.
Taxpayers must claim their GST and fuel tax credits within four years of the due date for lodgement of the BAS in which the credits are first attributable. Otherwise, a taxpayer’s entitlement to those credits ceases. Taxpayers can no longer send notifications to the Commissioner advising of potential refunds or entitlements to credits.
For further information: Amending your BAS – Period of reviewExternal Link