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The ATO advises of a pilot program it is conducting to refer the details of taxpayers with overdue income tax returns to collection agencies, using the existing processes for the referral of taxpayers with overdue debts. The ATO will be targeting those taxpayers who, despite previous requests, have failed to lodge their overdue returns.

At the end of April 2013, letters will be sent to affected taxpayers to warn that overdue income tax returns that are not lodged by the specified date will be referred to a collection agency to pursue the overdue lodgments. Once referred, agents or their clients will only be able to negotiate with the collection agency on these matters.

If agents receive letters for any of their clients, they need to contact their clients to ensure the:

  • client is aware of the impending referral to a collection agency
  • overdue income tax returns are lodged by the specified date so referral is not necessary
  • client is aware that penalties may be imposed if lodgment is not made.


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