The Commissioner has reassured the tax profession that the ATO will be able to support them and their clients to deal with COVID-19 challenges. Further, the ATO has redirected some of its resources to deal with COVID-19 and hence may not meet all of its usual service standards.
The ATO has been working closely with individual tax agents and the Tax Practitioners Stewardship Group to identify how they can best respond in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Those who are struggling to meet lodgment or payment obligations, or tax debts, could either access a range of tools and measures or get in touch with the ATO. If coping with COVID-19 is causing theoretical tax issues, tax professionals should contact the ATO, which will strive to give pragmatic, practical advice.
Meanwhile, the ATO has redirected some of their efforts to assist with the delivery of the Government’s economic response to coronavirus and hence may not be able to meet all of its usual service standards. In particular, it is increasing the number of staff available on its phone lines to assist users, and keeping them updated through the Frequently Asked Questions section on its COVID-19 webpage.