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Government Federal, Taxation

Clock is ticking on small business lodgment penalty amnesty

Australian Taxation Office 2 mins read

Late lodgment penalties will be remitted under the amnesty which ends on 31 December 2023 for small business income tax returns, fringe benefits tax (FBT) returns and business activity statements (BAS) originally due between 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2022.

More than 14,000 small businesses have taken advantage of the amnesty since it kicked off on 1  June 2023, with more than $48 million in failure to lodge (FTL) penalties remitted.

Directors who bring their company lodgments up to date can also have FTL penalties remitted if they rely on company lodgments to finalise their own tax affairs. This applies to eligible lodgments made between 1 June and 31 December 2023.

ATO Assistant Commissioner, Jillian Kitto says this amnesty is the perfect opportunity for small businesses to re-engage with their tax affairs and get back on track with their lodgment obligations without penalties.

‘All you need to do to take advantage of this opportunity is lodge, and we will remit any failure to lodge penalty.’

‘Having up-to-date lodgments is important, as it will give you a better understanding of your true financial position and ensure you can make informed decisions about your priorities and future planning,’ said Ms Kitto.

If a small business has ceased trading, they need to advise their registered tax professional, or contact the ATO directly to seek assistance with finalising their tax obligations, which may include lodging overdue returns, cancelling their ABN and paying any amounts overdue.

While penalties will be remitted under the amnesty, if a business finds themselves with a tax debt after their overdue forms are lodged, it’s important they pay in full to avoid further interest charges or check the ATO website to see if they are eligible for a payment plan.

Notes to journalists

  • ATO file footage is available for use in news bulletins from our media centre.
  • headshot of ATO Assistant Commissioner Jillian Kitto is available for download from our media centre.

More information is available on the ATO website, including:


Contact details:

mediaunit@ato.gov.au | 02 6216 1901

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