The professional accounting body will once again push the ATO to consider further blanket lodgement deferrals after the Tax Office had earlier agreed to a new due date of 5 June.
The extension had come after a combined effort from the joint accounting bodies, but it still fell short of the 15 June date that had been requested for.
The profession has now been told to request for further lodgement deferrals on a case-by-case basis, but the ATO has warned that processing times could take the full 28 days due to the fast-approaching peak lodgement period.
CPA Australia’s Paul Drum said the ongoing toll on the profession due to the COVID-19 crisis has strengthened its resolve to get a further deferral over the line.
“The physical and mental stress and anxiety that is tagged along with getting the JobKeeper, the cash boost and all the questions coming out of the fiscal stimulus measures — managing the applications, eligibility and along with other normal work — something has got to give,” Mr Drum told Accountants Daily.
“It would be easier if the ATO just said there are blanket extensions for all.
“All this tippy-toeing around this, saying we don’t want to give any extensions or we’ll give a few extensions — the day is going to come where they are just going to say blanket extensions are necessary, so just say it now.”
Despite fears within the profession that the commissioner will not entertain further extensions, Mr Drum is hopeful.
“While there is life, there is hope,” Mr Drum said.
“Just because their initial response has been, ‘No, not interested. We think we’ve gone as far as we can go’, we’ll be saying let’s have another look at this to see what can be done.
“We get the consequences of deferrals for revenue, but there are bigger issues at stake here. It is about survival of businesses, not the destruction of businesses, and accountants in the suburbs are businesses themselves.
“It is a genuine issue and everyone is facing the same challenges, and we’d like to do it jointly, but one way or the other we are going to prosecute the case on behalf of members, the broader profession and in the public interest.”
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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.