2016/2017 Lodgement Program

Posted on 16th August 2016 by Ashley Dawson

When you use a tax agent such as GeersSullivan to prepare and lodge your Tax Returns, Fringe Benefits Tax Returns and Activity Statements, you benefit from an extension of the due dates to lodge these documents. For example, if you prepare your own tax return using the Tax Pack or e-Tax software you will have to lodge your return by the 31st October each year. Depending on your circumstances you can have this extended to as far out as May the following year if you are with a registered tax agent. Another example of this is the automatic four week extension on the due date for lodging quarterly Business Activity Statements.

These lodgement concessions serve a number of important purposes and assist us in spreading our workload throughout the year. They can also be used to assist in managing the cashflow of your business by deferring lodgement and payment to the latest possible date.

We at GeersSullivan work with our clients who for whatever reason are unable to meet the Tax Office’s due dates. However legislative changes has put more onus on us to act as the Tax Office’s ‘police’.

As of 1 July 2013, tax agents are required to lodge 85% or more of their clients’ current year returns by the lodgement program due date, or by the deferred due date if a deferral is granted. It should be noted at this point that even if you don’t think you need to lodge a return with the Tax Office for whatever reason (i.e. your income is too low or you have moved overseas), you still need to lodge a form to advise them of this otherwise you will be considered an overdue return.

Overdue returns are charged a flat penalty of $180 per month for each month they are overdue up to a maximum of $900, plus any interest on overdue tax for individuals and small business entities. Large business entities can be up to as much as $4,500 plus any interest on overdue tax.

If the agents’ yearly averaged performance percentage does not meet the 85% benchmark, the Tax Office can remove access to the concessional lodgement program. As these concessions are fundamental to the functioning of a tax agents business, the threat of losing its concessions has forced many agents to review their client lists and remove those clients that aren’t actively working with their agents to bring their outstanding returns up to date. The Tax Office has encouraged this by providing a mechanism to delete bulk clients from lodgement lists.

Although the majority of our clients are up to date, if you do have concerns that you are behind or unable to meet the upcoming due dates, we encourage you to discuss this with us prior to the due date so we can make alternate arrangements with the Tax Office and allow us as a firm to continue to provide you with the extended dates to lodge your returns.

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