After applying blanket lodgement deferrals to 5 June, the ATO has announced practitioners will be able to apply for further individual extensions on lodgements.
However, the ATO has warned that, as it is approaching the peak lodgement period, it may take the full 28-day processing time to finalise deferral requests.
“To avoid processing delays, do not send further deferral requests for the same client within the 28-day period,” the ATO said.
“If you lodge before we process your deferral request, we will automatically remove any penalties or interest imposed where we approve the deferral.
“If you are experiencing longer-term difficulties managing your lodgement program, we can help with a managed lodgement program.”
Prime Partners director George Morice said the sheer amount of work accountants have had to take on in light of the COVID-19 stimulus measures have made reaching the 5 June deadline a close call.
“[The ATO is] lagging behind on most things at the moment just because they’ve got so much going on with all the JobKeeper management,” Mr Morice said.
“It’s not practical for the tax agent because we have to get responses out to our clients and putting an application in then waiting 28 days — we’re going to lose client goodwill there.
“On the accounting side, even with the extension, it’s still going to be tight.
“I think we may go over it anyway. The amount of additional work that we’ve had to do is huge.”
Accountants Daily understands the ATO is unlikely to consider further blanket extensions after the joint accounting bodies had to lobby hard to secure the 5 June extension date.
“Everyone was asking for 30 June and that would have been good, but we had to fight to get the 5 June extension,” the Institute of Public Accountants general manager of technical policy Tony Greco told Accountants Daily.
“It took a lot of effort to get 5 June and it’s almost like they’re saying, ‘That’s it, guys, case by case from here on in’, so I don’t expect them to move.
“The reality is, is if the practitioner is doing JobKeeper on behalf of the client, that will be sucking up a lot of their time.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.