ATO leniencySmall business owners deal with many issues on a daily basis. Between managing staff, suppliers and customers, running a  business can be quite stressful.

Around 45 per cent of Australians aged 16-85 will experience a common mental health-related condition in their lifetime.  Many of the signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses can be hard to differentiate between general stresses in your professional life and experiencing a mental health condition.  For example, feeling irritable, stressed or teary, changes in appetite, the inability to switch off from work even during personal time and troubles with sleeping may be ‘red flags.’

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has recognised that general stresses combined with mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression or a substance use disorder, can severely impact on a small business owner’s ability to run their business efficiently and enjoy a high quality of life.  The ATO offers support and assistance for any small business owners who are having difficulty meeting their tax and super obligations due to experiencing a mental health  condition. The Tax Office provides the following options:

Tailored payment plans
Those struggling to pay their tax bill on time can opt for a payment plan. This option allows business owners to pay back their debt by instalments to cater to their circumstances.  In some cases, the ATO can offer interest-free payment arrangements for small businesses with an activity statement debt.

Lodgment and payment deferral
Business owners can apply for a deferral of lodgment and/or payment of their reports and returns in certain circumstances. If you would like to apply for a deferral, contact our office and one of our accountants can apply on your behalf. Please note, information in this article should not be a substitute for professional advice, seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing issues.

You can read more in our full newsletter here:

Tax Matters Edition Nov 2017

For any questions or further advice please contact our friendly team of accountants on (08) 8339 4950.

ATO offers leniency to small business owners
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