On-time lodgement slipped slightly for small businesses last financial year while debts owing spiked, prompting the ATO to consider new strategies to encourage compliance.
In the 2016/17 financial year, 75 per cent of small businesses lodged their statements on time, which is slightly lower compared to previous years.
Further, Australian small businesses owed about $13.9 billion in collectable tax debt at 30 June 2017, which is up from 7 per cent on the previous year.
Small businesses accounted for around 67 per cent of total collectable debt, with the construction industry having the lowest rate of on-time payment.
The ATO is encouraging those who are struggling to meet their debt repayments to come forward to negotiate a favourable outcome for both parties.
Those small business owners facing mental health issues can also engage in the ATO’s support services.
“ATO support is available for business operators facing health issues and includes deferred payment and lodgement arrangements where this will help them get back on their feet,” the tax office said.
The ATO also found the proportion of income tax returns received electronically from small businesses slightly increased on 2015/16 numbers at 96 per cent.
By: Katarina Taurian
01 NOVEMBER 2017