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Tax and super must be paid in full and on time

Last updated 12 October 2023

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reminding all taxpayers to pay their upcoming tax bill in full by the due date to avoid penalties and interest charges.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Jillian Kitto said paying tax is not optional, and anyone who misses their payment due date should not expect interest or penalties to be remitted.

'Businesses with employees must also pay their staff's super on time' said Ms Kitto.

'With several payment dates fast approaching, we are encouraging people to get their tax and super affairs in order and to engage with us prior to the deadline if they find themselves in financial difficulties.'

Key dates:

  • Most business activity statement payments are due in October (monthly reports are due 21 October 2023, quarterly reports are due 28 October 2023 and annual reports are due 31 October 2023 – with some eligible for additional time if they lodge online or through a tax professional).
  • Businesses must pay their employee’s quarter one super guarantee by 28 October 2023
  • Individuals and sole traders who lodge their own tax return must pay their tax bill by 21 November 2023. The due date may be later for those who use a registered tax agent to lodge.

'‘Our preferred approach is to work with you through engagement rather than enforcement, and we expect anyone who can’t pay on time to reach out to us or their tax professional before their bill is due.’

‘If you can’t pay your tax bill in full, you may be eligible for a payment plan. However, it’s likely that you will be better off financially if you pay in full and on time, rather than arranging a payment plan.’

‘It is in your best interest to engage with the ATO before the bill is due if you can’t pay in full and on time. This means engaging with us before it becomes a tax debt where interest will accrue daily - and before we take firmer action,’ said Ms Kitto.

Interest on overdue tax debts compounds daily at an annual rate of 11.15%.

The ATO has options available for those experiencing financial difficulties.

If an employer doesn’t pay their employee’s super by 28 October, they will need to lodge a super guarantee charge (SGC) statement and pay the SGC to the ATO. Late super payments are not tax deductible.

For taxpayers who choose not to engage and don’t pay on time, the ATO will take swift and firm actions. This could include a director penalty notice, a garnishee, a disclosure of the business’s tax debt, and in some cases, legal action such as winding up a business.

Notes to journalists

  • ATO file footage is available for use in news bulletins from our media centre.
  • A headshot of ATO Assistant Commissioner Jillian Kitto is available for download from our media centre.
  • More information about what taxpayers can do if they are unable to pay the ATO on time is available at
  • More information about General interest charge rates are available.