27 May AiroAV Reports Why the tax lodgement date loophole WON’T save thousands fr…
Why a tax lodgement date extension WON’T save thousands from copping $850 fines – here’s how you can avoid being slugged
- The tax lodgement date ‘bottleneck’ could leave thousands $850 out of pocket
- Taxpayers who lodge through agents can have their deadline extended
- Agents expecting tax return chaos at end of the financial year due to COVID-19
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Thousands of Australians could be slugged with surprise $850 fines for filing late tax returns despite the deadlines being extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Taxpayers who lodge through agents are able skip the October 31 deadline without incurring a penalty, as long as their agent submits the form on their behalf by May 15 the following year.
The Australian Tax Office has now extended the cut-off to for all 2018-19 income tax returns to June 30, 2020, due to the chaos brought on by the COVID-19 crisis.
But the extension does not mean taxpayers are in the clear, as agents have cited a ‘bottleneck’ in coping with thousands of requests including last year’s tax returns, the JobKeeper subsidy and paying Business Activity Statements.
The tax lodgement date loophole could leave thousands $850 out of pocket amid the coronavirus crisis (stock image)
‘We’ve been hammered in all directions in terms of what is due within a one-month period,’ Ben Johnston from accounting firm Willett Johnston Partners told news.com.au.
Mr Johnston explained accountants have had to ‘nurse clients’ through the JobKeeper process as they have found it difficult to get all the information together during the health crisis.
Taxpayers who fail to lodge on time can cop an $850 penalty and Mr Johnston said people ‘without a doubt’ would miss the deadline.
‘Ordinarily, tax returns are due on October 31 but if you’re lodging through an agent, you generally get a longer period – but it is subject to your lodgement history,’ he said.
Mr Johnston recommended lodging early as taxpayers who are perpetually late could have the extension taken away.
‘The problem is the work is building up at the back end, and then straight away we move into the next financial year, so there’s a real risk of a bottleneck,’ he said.
The accounting firm is expecting to get ‘really busy really quickly’.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted ATO for comment.
Taxpayers who fail to lodge the on time can cop an $850 penalty and Ben Johnston from accounting firm Willett Johnston Partners said people ‘without a doubt’ would miss the deadline (stock image)