AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

PO Box 900

Civic Square ACT 2608

4 November 2002

 

GST and PAYG Payment and Reporting Options for 2002-03

Deadline for choosing options approaching

 

 

Following their meeting on 3 September 2002, the Commissioner and Professional Associations jointly announced an examination of the feasibility of changing the lodgment program to reduce workloads of tax practitioners. The ATOand representatives from the Lodgment Working Party, met recently to progress this task.

In the mean time, it may be worthwhile reminding you of some simple steps that practitioners can take to immediately reduce their PAYG instalment and GST reporting workloads.

1.         Pay quarterly GST and/or PAYG instalments worked out by the Tax Office

Many taxpayers have a choice about how they report and pay their GST and/or PAYG instalments. They can choose between paying an amount calculated by the Tax Office or an amount they work out themselves.

Paying instalments worked out by the Tax Office is a good option for taxpayers who have difficulty gathering information in time to calculate their quarterly instalments. All they have to do each quarter is lodge their activity statement and pay the pre-printed amount.

Some PAYG instalment clients are only required to make payments, they do not have to lodge their activity statements.

Having your clients pay instalments worked out by the Tax Office also provides you with a significant opportunity to reduce your workload each quarter.

The activity statement for the July-September 2002 quarter will set up the GST and PAYG instalment reporting and payment options, for eligible taxpayers, for 2002-03.

What do you need to do?

If your client received a Business activity statement or Instalment activity statement check their form to see which options are available. Place an "X" in the box next to the option they wish to choose.

  • To pay GST instalments worked out by the Tax Office choose GST option 3 – Pay GST instalment amount quarterly.
  • To pay PAYG instalments worked out by the Tax Office choose PAYG option 1 – Pay a PAYG instalment amount. If your client received a Quarterly PAYG instalment notice they have already chosen to pay PAYG instalments worked out by the Tax Office.

Ensure your clients choose their option carefully, based on their individual circumstances. The option they choose will be used for the remainder of the income year.

The law requires taxpayers to notify us of their choice by the time their quarter 1 activity statement is due to be lodged. The last day for lodging quarter 1 activity statements is 11 November 2002.

In cases where a taxpayer’s choice is not clearly indicated, or the activity statement is not lodged on time, they will generally be defaulted to option 1 (calculate GST and report quarterly) for GST and the option they used last year for PAYG instalments.

If you have already lodged your clients’ activity statement and not chosen to pay the Tax Office calculated amount, you can still change to this option by calling 13 72 86.

2.         Pay an annual PAYG instalment

Many taxpayers find it convenient to pay an annual PAYG instalment. Having your eligible clients pay instalments annually also provides you with a significant opportunity to reduce your workloads.

Taxpayers who are eligible for this option must elect to do so by 11 November 2002. They were sent a letter advising them of their eligibility in August. If we don’t receive a taxpayer’s annual election by 11 November they will continue to pay quarterly instalments for 2002-03.

What do you need to do?

Please consider the annual PAYG ITI option for your clients. There is a bulk election form available on www.ato.gov.au that allows you to elect up to 20 clients each time. Select Tax & Superannuation Professionals - Forms, calculators, rates and tables - Electronic Forms - PAYG Forms and you will find the Choosing to pay an annual PAYG instalment form. Alternatively, you can call us on 13 72 86 and we will take your elections over the phone.

More information

You can get publications about PAYG, GST and other tax information, through the following contacts:

The joint Lodgment Working Party is examining other areas of the lodgment program and we will be in contact about those in the near future. The information will be placed in the Lodgment Working Party Section under Tax Practitioner Forums on the ATOAssist web site at www.ato.gov.au.

 

 

Greg Topping

Assistant Commissioner