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  • Voluntary disclosures in the approved form

    If you need to inform us of mistake or left something out of a lodgment you may need to make a voluntary disclosure. A voluntary disclosure gives you the opportunity to bring your tax affairs into order. Voluntary disclosures must be made in the approved form.

    We encourage people to review the information that they report to us, especially in tax returns and activity statements.

    If you make a voluntary disclosure, penalties may be reduced depending on the timing – the earlier the better – and in some cases whether it saves us significant time and resources.

    The voluntary disclosure has to be 'in the approved form'. In the approved form means you must:

    • give us the information we require to work out what the error or correct position is
    • provide the information in the required manner, such as by letter, specific form, through an approved ATO electronic channel, or (in limited circumstances) by phone or face-to-face
    • ensure that it contains a declaration signed by you or your authorised person.

    If you would like another person such as a friend, family member or tax agent to make a voluntary disclosure on your behalf, they must be listed as an authorised contact on your account.

    There are a number of circumstances where a disclosure is not a voluntary disclosure, such as agreeing with a shortfall amount that we have already told you about or answering questions.

    Additionally, merely providing general information or invoices is not a voluntary disclosure, and nor is saying that you don't understand the law. In these situations, please work with us to provide more information.

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      Last modified: 09 Feb 2021QC 56568