Tax support for businesses and not-for-profits
If your business is having financial difficulties and can't pay tax or super on time, support is available.
Financial difficulties can occur from many situations, including:
- business closure
- disconnection of an essential service, such as electricity
- repossession of a vehicle that is used for business purposes
- pending legal action for non-payment of debts
- period of review limitations
- court orders
- other necessities for the business or people you are responsible for.
Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to:
- give you extra time to lodge or pay your tax
- set up a payment plan tailored to your situation
- remit penalties or interest
- process your tax return as a priority
- prevent any tax refund you may be due to receive from being used to pay debts with other government organisations
- defer your tax lodgment and payment due dates.
To provide you with help, we may ask for evidence that your business is in financial difficulty.
For support tailored to your needs, speak to your registered tax practitioner or call us on 13 11 42 during operating hours.
On this page:
Support for your situation
Find out more about the support we can offer, including:
Priority processing of tax returns
If your business is experiencing financial difficulties, you may be eligible for priority processing of your tax return.
You can apply for priority processing by fax or through a tax professional.
Adjusting GST registration and reporting
If your GST turnover is less than $75,000 (or $150,000 for non-profit organisations), you may be able to:
- cancel your GST registration – your fuel tax credit, luxury car tax and wine equalisation tax registrations will also be cancelled
- remain registered, but report and pay your GST annually or monthly, or
- continue with your current registration and reporting option.
Call us on 13 28 66 during operating hours if you need to change your GST reporting and payment cycle.
If the amounts you owe are under $100,000, you can propose a payment plan:
- through our online services
- through your registered tax agent or BAS agent
- by calling our automated phone service on 13 72 26 which is available 24 hours a day.
If you can't create a payment plan using our automated phone service, you'll be connected to a person who will help you during our operating hours.
Varying your PAYG instalments
If you're reporting and paying pay as you go (PAYG) instalments, you may be able to vary the amount or rate for the current income year.
If your business income is reduced, you can lodge a variation on your next BAS or instalment notice.
Your varied amount or rate will apply for all your remaining instalments for the income year, or until you make another variation.
Call us on 13 28 61 during operating hours to discuss your PAYG instalments.
Help paying employee super on time
By law, we can't vary the contribution due date or waive the superannuation guarantee charge for late payments of super guarantee.
You must pay super to all eligible employees' super funds at least once every financial quarter. Super guarantee is due by the 28th day of the month following the end of the quarter. After this you are liable for the superannuation guarantee charge.
Unlike paying super guarantee on time, the super guarantee charge is calculated on an employee's total salary and wages (including overtime and some allowances) and includes interest and administration fee of $20 per employee, per quarter.
If you don't pay the minimum amount of super to the correct super fund on time, you need to:
- lodge a Superannuation guarantee charge statement
- pay the superannuation guarantee charge to us.
By lodging the Superannuation guarantee charge statement within a month of the quarterly due date, you will avoid additional penalties. If you can’t pay in full, we’ll work with you to set up a payment plan.
We have limited discretion with interest and penalties that apply to unpaid super. Contact us as soon as possible and lodge a superannuation guarantee charge statement. This will significantly decrease any interest or penalties that apply.
Help paying if your funds are frozen
If you can't meet your tax payments due to freezing of income or non-bank funds, you may be able to pay your tax by instalments. Otherwise, you may be eligible for a payment deferral.
The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) can help people who have frozen funds and are in financial difficulty.
Where to get financial advice on managing your business
We are committed to providing you with reliable advice and information about your tax obligations and rights as a business operator. However, we can't offer financial advice.
For financial advice, you can contact:
- a tax practitioner
- a financial adviser
- an accountant
- a professional association.
Make sure any advice you receive comes from a licensed financial adviser.
Free financial counselling services
Financial counsellors provide information, support and advocacy to assist people in financial difficulty. Their services are free, independent and confidential.
The National Debt Helpline (NDH)External Link is an online and phone financial counselling service available across Australia. NDH counsellors talk to people with debts. They explain what options are available. This may include referral to your local financial counselling service. You can call the NDH on 1800 007 007.
Evidence of financial difficulty
We may ask for evidence that your business is in financial difficulty. This will support your claim.
Evidence may include:
- a current bank notice
- other bank notices (for example, an overdraft call)
- an eviction notice
- a disconnection notice
- a repossession notice
- a notice of impending legal action
- staff pay records
- contract payment schedules
- legal documents.
We take many factors into account when assessing your claim.
In some cases, our requirements may change. This will depend on your circumstances.
If your business (including not-for-profits) can't pay tax or super on time because of financial difficulties, help is available. This includes what to do if you can't pay super and where to seek financial advice.
- Contact us if you're experiencing financial difficulty.