ATO offers leniency to small business owners

Small 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.

Cristy Houghton

Embarketing, 48 Johnston Street, Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2650

Cristy's unique career has taken her from country NSW to the city lights of Clarendon Street South Melbourne and back again. With an early career in radio as a copywriter and creative strategist, she is now a Jill of all trades as a graphic designer, website builder, blog writer, video editor, social media manager, marketing strategist and more. 

In fact, give her any task and this chick will figure out how to do it! Go on, we dare you!

No, really, we DARE you!!

Cristy has won two Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) for Best Ad and Best Sales Promotion, and even has an 'Employee of the Year' certificate with her name on it.

Cristy and her husband James have traveled extensively through Russia, China and South East Asia, and have two fur-babies, Sooty (cat) and Panda (puppy). Cristy loves drinking coffee, meeting people to drink coffee, coffee tasting and coffee flavoured cocktails. She also enjoys road trips, TED Talks and watching cat videos on youtube.