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The ATO has advised that on 3 November 2011, it will send default assessment warning letters to some agents' clients with overdue returns where it has evidence that they received taxable income in the relevant financial years.

These letters are titled "Default assessment warning" and are part of the ATO's ongoing work to address non-lodgment. If the overdue returns are not lodged by the date specified, the ATO says that it will issue default assessments for these clients based on the estimated taxable income included in the letter.

If the ATO issues a default assessment to any client, they can incur both of the following:

  • failure to lodge on time penalties
  • administrative penalties of at least 75% of the tax related liability from the default assessment, after taking into account any pay as you go (PAYG) and any other tax credits available.

If agents receive a letter for any of their clients, they should make sure that the relevant income tax returns are lodged by the date outlined in the letter.


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