The tax laws authorise the ATO to impose administrative penalties for conduct such as:

The penalty amount is calculated using either a statutory formula – most false or misleading statement penalties are calculated this way – or in multiples of a penalty unit.

Penalty unit

When infringement occurred

Penalty unit amount

Up to 27 December 2012


28 December 2012 – 30 July 2015


On or after 31 July 2015


The purpose of the penalty provisions is to encourage taxpayers to take reasonable care in complying with their tax obligations. We take into account your circumstances, including your compliance history, when deciding what action to take.

If you're liable for a penalty we'll notify you in writing of the reason for the penalty, the amount and the due date for payment, which will be at least 14 days after the notice is given.

If you're dissatisfied with a penalty imposed on you or believe there are extenuating circumstances, you can ask for the penalty to be remitted (reduced) in full or in part.

See also:

Last modified: 10 Feb 2016QC 33407