• New Wave Accountants

4 Business Support Options Offered by the ATO - What to Know

With COVID-19 running rampant, many restrictions—especially that pertaining to business—have been placed by the government to help limit the spread of the deadly virus. Unfortunately, this has caused a lot of problems for many companies. In fact, many have been forced to completely close because of it. While the effects of the virus may not be so pronounced for certain industries, it can always be a massive problem if left unchecked.

One of the biggest problems that many of these businesses face is the upkeep of payment plans by ATO, the Australian Taxation Office, which is proving to become harder as the days go by and the money runs lower and lower. Fortunately, ATO is aware of this and has devised a few plans to help businesses get through the pandemic.

ATO offers a customised support

ATO is providing plenty of different support options, some of which are custom catered to a business' situation. For example, some companies will benefit from a reschedule of payment, while others even get to suspend plans altogether.

These measures are provided to ensure that businesses that are struggling to meet their tax obligations due to the pandemic can survive. That said, if your business is one of them, do contact the ATO or ask your tax accountant to do so for you right away. That way, you can get your situation assessed quicker and enjoy support.

The Different Support Options

With that said, you might be wondering what kind of support options you can expect from ATO. Well, here are a few:

1. Postponement of Tax Payments

If your business is one that has been forced to completely halt operations due to the pandemic, a deferral, or postponement of tax payments, can be the way you stay afloat. Even if you're still operating, you might have other important financial obligations—paying your employee's salaries, for instance.

That said, whether your business is at a complete stand-still, you have other obligations to meet, or you have no money left, a postponement of tax payments is a great way to lift some of your financial burdens.

2. GST Refunds

While ATO already offers refunds, it usually comes quarterly. If your company is in pressing need of money, though, ATO can refund your GST every month or so. This is perfect if you're running low on cash and need quick finances to cover different business obligations.

3. Lowered Interested Payment Plans

If you still have money but not enough to keep up with your ongoing repayment plan, ATO can accommodate and reduce the interest for you. However, keep in mind that the lowering of interests for repayment plans will typically apply to the tax that you already owe.

4. Dismissal of Financial Penalties

Australian business owners know very well that failure to pay their dues on time results in penalties that can leave them in serious trouble. Your finances could very easily take a major hit with one tax blunder. That's why you hired a qualified tax accountant to do the bookkeeping for you in the first place, right?

That said, ATO is willing to dismiss any penalty you might have during the pandemic but note that this will depend on the situation you're dealing with. Because of this, you need to talk to your accountant to contact ATO to see whether you're eligible for the dismissal of penalties.


COVID-19 has caused a lot of significant problems, both in the well-being of the population and even the finances. Fortunately, bodies such as ATO know the hardships businesses are currently facing and are doing their best to help companies make it through this tough time. If your company needs help, contact the ATO immediately, or ask your accountant to do so for you. That way, you can receive support quicker and give your business the highest chance of outlasting this pandemic.

Are you looking for accountants to help you through this tough time? Contact us today through our website.

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