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  • Help with paying

    If you’re unable to pay on time, you may be able to set up a payment plan to pay by instalments.

    You still need to lodge your activity statements and tax returns on time, even if you can't pay by the due date. This will show us you're aware of your obligations and doing your best to meet them.

    Find out about:

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    Payment plans

    When setting up a payment plan, you need to consider:

    • how much you can pay so you can meet each scheduled instalment (including interest that may accrue on any overdue amounts)
    • your future obligations.

    In some instances, we may need to know more about your financial situation and circumstances. This is so we can work with you to set up a manageable payment plan that suits both of us.

    Otherwise see the information below about payment plans for:

    Individuals and sole traders

    The easiest way to set up a payment plan if you owe $100,000 or less is by using our online services.

    To use our online services, you'll need a myGov account linked to the ATO. You may be eligible to set up, adjust or cancel an existing payment plan.

    Our aim is to help you pay amounts you owe in the shortest time and saving you interest.

    When you set up a payment plan you'll be provided with:

    • an upfront amount you need to pay
    • examples of instalment amounts that have been manageable for clients with similar circumstances to yours.

    You can vary the upfront and instalment amounts above or below the amounts provided – up to certain values.

    If you can't afford a payment plan that’s offered online, or you owe more than $100,000, phone us on 13 11 42 during our operating hours to discuss your options.

    Before you call, we recommend using our payment plan estimator to work out a plan you can afford.

    Next steps:

    Automated phone service

    You may be able to use our automated phone service to arrange a late payment or to pay by instalments. You'll need your Australian business number (ABN) or tax file number (TFN) and the full details of your outstanding amount.

    If you can't enter into a payment plan through our automated phone service, during our operating hours, you’ll be connected to a person who will help you.

    Next step:

    Businesses

    If your business owes $100,000 or less, you can propose a payment plan:

    • via Online services for businessExternal Link and choosing Accounts and payments then payment plans
    • by phoning our automated phone service on 13 72 26
    • through your registered tax agent or BAS agent who can use online services to enter a payment plan on your behalf

    If you can't enter into a payment plan using our automated phone service, you'll be connected to a person (during our operating hours) who will help you.

    To set up a payment plan you'll need your ABN or TFN, and the full details of your outstanding amount.

    If you have overdue amounts from activity statements, you may be eligible for an interest-free payment plan.

    If your business owes over $100,000, phone us on 13 11 42 during our operating hours to discuss your options.

    Before you call, we recommend using our payment plan estimator to work out a plan you can afford.

    Next steps:

    See also:

    Registered agents

    If you're a registered tax or BAS agent, you can use our Online services for agents to view, set up, adjust or cancel a payment plan for your client.

    You can set up a payment plan if your client:

    • has an existing debit amount less than $100,000 (total balance or overdue amounts)
    • does not already have a payment plan for that debit amount
    • hasn't defaulted on a payment plan for the relevant account more than twice in the past two years.

    Next steps:

    Interest-free payment plans for overdue activity statement amounts

    Small businesses that owe activity statement amounts may be able to pay these off interest-free over 12 months.

    Eligibility

    You may be eligible for an interest-free payment plan if your business:

    • has an annual turnover of less than $2 million
    • has recent amounts owed from an activity statement of $50,000 or less that has been overdue for no longer than 12 months
    • has good payment and lodgment history including            
      • no more than one payment plan default within the last 12 months
      • no outstanding activity statement lodgments
       
    • is unable to obtain finance (such as a loan) through normal business channels
    • is able to demonstrate ongoing viability.

    How it works

    You must agree to a payment plan that allows the amounts owed to be paid by direct debit within 12 months. Even if you receive a letter stating that interest will apply, it will be remitted as long as you maintain your payment plan.

    While you're paying off your bill:

    • you can check your running account balance by logging into the Online services for businessExternal Link, or phoning us on 13 28 66 (8.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday)
    • you must meet all of your other payment and lodgment obligations.

    Registered tax or BAS agents can check the running account balance by using Online services for agents, or phoning 13 72 86 (Fast Key Code 1 2 5 1).

    If you're already in a payment plan

    You can ask us to change your existing payment plan to an interest-free payment plan if you satisfy the eligibility criteria.

    If your request is approved, we’ll cancel your previous plan. The interest-free period will start from the date you enter into the new plan.

    Next step:

    • Phone us on 13 28 66 during our operating hours to change to an interest-free payment plan.

    Secured payment plans

    If we can't reach an agreement with you about paying amounts you owe, we may consider accepting an offer of security where you either:

    • request we defer the time of payment of a debt
    • seek to pay a debt by instalments.

    Our preferred securities are:

    • a registered mortgage over freehold property
    • an unconditional bank guarantee from an Australian bank.

    For more information about a secured payment phone us on 13 11 42 during our operating hours.

    See also:

    HELP and SFSS

    If your tax notice of assessment includes a compulsory Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) or Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) repayment that would cause serious hardship, you can apply to defer it.

    If there are other reasons you believe you shouldn’t make a compulsory repayment, you can also apply to defer it.

    Next step:

    Last modified: 31 Mar 2021QC 50299