For inclusion in the corporate transparency population, income tax returns must be lodged and processed by 1 September of the following financial year.
There were 41 entities not included in the 2013–14 transparency population because their income tax returns were not lodged and processed prior to 1 September 2015. The 2013–14 assessment year data for these entities is published as part of the 2014–15 report.
Of these 41 entities, 26 had no tax payable and the remaining 15 had aggregate tax payable of approximately $103 million for 2013–14. Of this total amount, $97.5 million of tax was paid on time, with only $5.5 million paid late. Late payments may attract interest and penalties.
Most corporate entities are full self-assessment taxpayers. Their return lodgment and payment dates are fixed, based on the date their year of income ends. We apply a risk-based approach to ensuring lodgment and payment where these obligations aren’t met, including the application of penalties and interest.
The time taken for the ATO to process returns can vary during the year, as priority is given to different return types and demands. A few corporate entities with 2013–14 data being reported may, therefore, have met all of their lodgment requirements prior to 1 September 2015.
Through engagement with companies who haven’t lodged on time, we find a number of reasons for their behaviour. This includes information from third parties being unavailable, reporting being delayed due to structural changes (such as mergers, acquisitions and consolidation), as well as circumstances where the registered entity did not in fact have a legal obligation to lodge (such as those that ceased operating in all aspects except name). There are also a number of companies identified as being in, or about to enter liquidation, which prevents them from being able to prepare and lodge a return.
Where companies still have outstanding lodgments, we will pursue lodgment and this may include escalation to default assessments or criminal prosecution for non-lodgment.