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  • Penalties

    Failure to meet a tax obligation may result in a penalty being applied. Tax laws authorise us to impose administrative penalties when you fail to meet your tax obligations.

    In this section

    Statements and positions that are not reasonably arguable
    How we impose penalties for false or misleading statements or taking a position that is not reasonably arguable

    Penalty relief
    Check if you can get relief from a penalty where you made an inadvertent error in your tax return or an activity statement

    Failure to meet other tax obligations
    Find out what penalties and in what multiples we can impose them if you fail to meet tax obligations in various tax laws

    Failure to lodge on time penalty
    Find out what penalties we impose and how if you fail to meet your tax lodgment obligations on time

    Failure to withhold
    Find out what penalties we impose if you fail to withhold or pay PAYG withholding amounts

    About penalties and penalty units

    Penalty provisions are there to encourage all taxpayers to take reasonable care in complying with their tax obligations. We consider your circumstances when deciding what action to take.

    If you're liable for a penalty, we'll notify you in writing and include:

    • the reason for the penalty
    • the amount of the penalty
    • the due date for payment (at least 14 days after we give notice).

    You can't claim a deduction for penalties we impose.

    We calculate the penalty amount using either:

    • a statutory formula, based on your behaviour and the amount of tax avoided
    • multiples of a penalty unit.
    Table: Penalty unit

    When infringement occurred

    Penalty unit amount

    On or after 1 July 2020


    1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020


    31 July 2015 to 30 June 2017


    28 December 2012 to 30 July 2015


    Up to 27 December 2012


    Related pages

    Last modified: 21 Apr 2022QC 33407