Tax laws authorise the ATO to impose administrative penalties for a range of conduct, including not taking reasonable care in claiming a deduction to which you are not entitled or making a false or misleading statement.
The purpose of the penalty provisions is to encourage taxpayers to take reasonable care in complying with their obligations.
The law specifies the conditions making you liable to a penalty and the amount of the penalty. However, ATO have discretion to reduce (remit) the penalty amount according to individual circumstances, so ATO frequently remit a penalty before advising you of your tax debt.
If you’re dissatisfied with a penalty imposed on you, you may, in most cases, ask us to remit it. You can also object to some penalties through the objection process.
How to request a remission of penalty
You can ask for a reduction or cancellation of any penalty (referred to as partial or full remission), including penalties for failing to:
- lodge documents on time
- withhold amounts as required (PAYG withholding system)
- meet other tax obligations.
You can make your request:
- through the online Business or Tax Agent portals (you must be registered)
- by phone (for small penalties and simple cases)
- by fax or mail to the address given in the letter advising you of the penalty.
For large penalties, or complicated cases, ATO recommend you write to us. In some circumstances, ATO may ask you to put your request in writing.
When requesting a review of a penalty, include the following information:
- your full name
- the name, postal address and daytime phone number (if convenient) of a person ATO can contact about this request
- your tax file number (TFN) or Australian business number (ABN)
- the reference number from the letter advising you of our decision
- the reasons you think it is fair and reasonable for us to remit the penalty in your situation.
For more information on Etax, Mytax and online tax return, please contact us at 1300768284 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org