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ATO ramps up heat on directors

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Published by:
James Morris
Published on:
May 09, 2022
Modoras Accounting (QLD) Pty Ltd ABN 81 601 145 215
ATO ramps up heat on directors

Throughout March, the ATO sent letters to directors who are potentially in breach of their obligations to ensure that the company they represent has met its PAYG withholding, superannuation guarantee charge, or GST obligations.

These letters are a warning shot and should not be ignored.

The director penalty regime ensures that directors are personally liable for certain debts of the company if the debts are not actively managed. The liability applies to both current and former directors.

To recover this debt, the ATO will issue a director penalty notice to the individual directors. The ATO can then take action to recover the unpaid amount, including:

  • By issuing garnishee notices,
  • By offsetting tax credits owed to the director against the penalty, or
  • By initiating legal recovery proceedings against the director.

In some cases it is possible for the penalty to be remitted but this depends on when the PAYGW, GST or SGC amounts are reported to the ATO. For example, in some cases the penalty can be remitted if an administrator or small business restructuring practitioner is appointed to the company, or the company begins to be wound up. However, this is normally only possible for PAYGW and GST amounts if they are reported to the ATO within 3 months of the due date. For SGC amounts this is only possible if the unpaid amount is reported by the due date of the SGC statement.

If the unpaid amounts are not reported to the ATO by the relevant deadline then the only way for the penalty to be remitted is for the debt to be paid in full. Winding up the company at this stage will not make the liability of the directors go away.

If you have received a warning letter from the ATO or a director penalty notice then please contact us immediately.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This blog has been prepared by Modoras Accounting (QLD) Pty. Ltd. ABN 81 601 145 215. The information and opinions contained in this blog is general information only and is not intended to represent specific personal advice (Accounting, taxation, financial, insurance or credit). No individuals’ personal circumstances have been taken into consideration for the preparation of this material. The information and opinions herein do not constitute any recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any particular financial product. Modoras Accounting (QLD) Pty. Ltd. recommends that no financial product or financial service be acquired or disposed of or financial strategy adopted without you first obtaining professional personal financial advice suitable and appropriate to your own personal needs, objectives, goals and circumstances. Information, forecasts and opinions contained in this blog can change without notice. Modoras Accounting (QLD) Pty. Ltd. does not guarantee the accuracy of the information at any particular time. Although care has been exercised in compiling the information contained within, Modoras Accounting (QLD) Pty. Ltd. does not warrant that the articles within are free from errors, inaccuracies or omissions. To the extent permissible by law, neither Modoras Accounting (QLD) Pty. Ltd. nor its employees, representatives or agents (including associated and affiliated companies) accept liability for loss or damages incurred as a result of a person acting in reliance of this publication. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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