How Can I Manage My Outstanding ATO Tax Debt?

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It seems like a long time ago, but way back before COVID hit us properly in Australia the economy wasn’t actually tracking that well.  

Reflecting a weaker economy, interest rates were already dropping and many business owners were already carrying aged ATO tax debt, had payment plans and weren’t keeping up with their obligations.  When COVID shutdowns happened a tough situation got worse for many businesses.  

Fast forward to today and the ATO is starting to ramp up collections activity.

The ATO has broad powers and can issue garnishee notices to banks, your business’ customers and can even go so far to wind you up with the potential for Directors to be personally liable for their outstanding ATO debt.  These are real and serious consequences that face business owners with tax debt.

What Should I Do If I Have Tax Debt With The ATO?

The ATO, accountants, specialist tax consultants, lawyers and insolvency experts all say the same thing.  Don’t put your head in the sand and expect the issue to go away – the ATO is more likely to escalate the seriousness of their response if you ignore them.  

Know that there are specialists out there to help you.  Beyond your accountant, there are insolvency practitioners and consultants who specialise in negotiating with the ATO about aged tax debt.  There experts in gaining the best payment plans and reductions in interest and penalty charges.

Can I Get A Loan To Payout My Tax Debt?

Many mainstream lenders, including the major banks will not provide loans to payout tax debt and may even call in their existing loan facilities if through a review process they find out you have an outstanding ATO tax debt.  

However there are a number of specialist lenders who will help business owners in this space.  The solution and structure depend on your personal circumstances so it is always advised to seek advice from a finance expert that has demonstrated experience in providing business owners loans for paying out ATO tax debt.

Final Tips

Dealing with outstanding tax debt can be really stressful and the consequences to business owners and directors can be severe.  The most important action you can take is to take action and talk to a professional as soon as possible rather than crossing your fingers and hoping the ATO debt will go away.

P.S. Here’s a list of some of the solutions we’re doing for clients at the moment.  

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Get in touch to talk through your situation.

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