ATO’s Late Lodgement Focus Set To Continue This Year

Since February last year, the Australian Tax Office launched a new compliance campaign focused on accepting late lodgements due to a lapse in broader regulatory issues. An SMSF auditor stated that late lodgements will continue to be under close scrutiny this year as the ATO is still looking for further improvements.

When the ATO assistant commissioner, SMSF segment Justin Micale noted in 2019 that despite the due date for lodgement was 30 June 2020, the lodgement rate reached only 86 per cent by then. This was when late lodgement was adopted.

Though the taxation office has a focus on late lodgers, it has ramped up in recent times and will likely continue for this financial year too. It would like to see more improvement next year.

Earlier this month, it was warned that the latest COVID outbreak inhibited the flow of information and resulted in reduced staffing levels, so the SMSF professionals would be up against additional barriers in meeting the lodgement deadlines this year.

It was also noted that some new audit requirements would be introduced this year, including valuations, which in turn will slow down the process of getting returns lodged.

In some instances, the SMSF firms with an infected staff would still not be able to work, even from home. This remote working may see a slow down in processes.

It’s being said that depending on how firms and clients respond, the SMSF sector could see a further delay in lodgements this year.

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