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More Sympathy Required For Small Businesses by ATO, says Taxation Institute of Australia

Publication date: 25 Jun 01 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

However, Taxation Institute of Australia President, Ms Alice McCleary, has called on Mr Howard to support his words with actions by reducing interest penalties (General Interest Charge or GIC) to commercial levels and grant the Commissioner power to remit penalty interest incurred by average Australians who have unwillingly been hit with these harsh tax penalties due to tax reform pressures.

"The greatest burden on these taxpayers is interest penalties of 13.86 percent," said Ms McCleary.

"A proposal in a recent tax bill to reduce the penalty rate by 1 percent represents a failure to grasp the impact of these excessive interest penalties on ordinary Australians. If Mr Howard is serious about supporting small businesses, he will lower the general interest charge uplift factor down from 8 percent, to a more commercially realistic figure which reflects the true cost of funds for small businesses and other taxpayers."

As well as urging the Government to lower the GIC the Taxation Institute of Australia is calling on the Government to grant the Commissioner more power to remit penalties where the cause of the GIC being applied is due to burdens imposed by tax reform.

"In summary, given the burden of GIC (currently 13.86%) on ordinary Australians who make minor mistakes, the Government needs to reduce the GIC" said Ms McCleary. "In addition, in the current transitional period, all GIC in respect to late lodgement and running balance accounts should be remitted in full."