stopwatch countdown to deadline

Small business lodgement penalty amnesty deadline

Clock ticking on small business lodgement penalty amnesty

Small businesses have until the end of December 2023 to get back on track with overdue forms via the small business lodgement penalty amnesty.

Late lodgement penalties will be remitted under the amnesty which ends on 31 December 2023 for small business income tax returns, fringe benefits tax (FBT) returns and business activity statements (BAS) originally due between 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2022.

More than 14,000 small businesses have taken advantage of the amnesty since it kicked off on 1 June 2023, with more than $48 million in failure to lodge (FTL) penalties remitted.

Directors who bring their company lodgements up to date can also have FTL penalties remitted if they rely on company lodgements to finalise their tax affairs. This applies to eligible lodgments made between 1 June and 31 December 2023.

The amnesty provides an opportunity for small businesses to re-engage with their tax affairs and get back on track with their lodgement obligations without penalties.

If a small business has ceased trading, they need to advise their registered tax professional or contact the ATO directly to seek assistance with finalising their tax obligations, which may include lodging overdue returns, cancelling their ABN and paying any amounts overdue.

While penalties will be remitted under the amnesty, if a business finds themselves with a tax debt after their overdue forms are lodged, they must pay in full to avoid further interest charges or check the ATO website to see if they are eligible for a payment plan.


Compliance cogs

Understanding Director Penalty Notices

Navigating the ATO’s Enforcement Measures

In the complex territory of tax obligations, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is actively deploying Director Penalty Notices (DPN) at an average rate of 60 per day, as revealed by the ATO themselves.

A DPN does not confer liability upon directors for outstanding company debt, as directors are inherently liable by law. Rather, it serves as a formal notification that initiates a countdown, compelling directors to either remit the debt promptly or confront the ensuing consequences.

There are imperative steps for directors to take in response to a DPN:

  1. Complete business lodgements even if there is an inability to pay associated liabilities such as PAYG, GST and superannuation
  2. Ensure business address accuracy on ASIC’s register
  3. Seek advice from a liquidator if you are unable to meet the DPN amount.

Lockdown DPNs

A lockdown DPN comes into play when a company fails to lodge Business Activity Statements (BAS) and Instalment Activity Statements (IAS) within three months of the due date or Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC) statements within one month and 28 days after the quarter’s end to which the superannuation charge contribution relates. In such cases, directors face automatic and permanent exposure to penalties, with the sole remedy being full payment of the debt.

Non-lockdown DPNs

Conversely, a non-lockdown DPN provides directors with a 21-day window to consider options for remitting the applicable tax (penalty). The available choices include paying the debt, appointing a voluntary administrator, engaging a small business restructuring practitioner or appointing a liquidator. Failure to act within this timeframe results in the penalty becoming permanent, empowering the ATO to initiate debt recovery proceedings.

Adding a layer of complexity, the ATO now issues DPNs that break down amounts owed into lockdown (monthly unremitted amounts) and non-lockdown (monthly remitted amounts) columns.

Navigating the intricacies of DPNs can be challenging for directors, so engaging with a qualified tax advisor is crucial to gaining the necessary support and understanding:

  • Explaining the mechanics of DPNs
  • Reviewing individual circumstances to provide tailored assistance and outlining options based on unique circumstances
  • Offering support throughout the decision-making process.

In essence, understanding and responding to Director Penalty Notices requires a comprehensive approach, combining intricate tax knowledge and strategic insights, ensuring directors are well-equipped to address these ATO enforcement measures.


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Katherine O’Connor Director at Allan Hall Business Advisors

Announcing Katherine O’Connor appointed Director at Allan Hall Business Advisors

We are thrilled to announce the promotion of Katherine O’Connor to the position of Director at Allan Hall Business Advisors as of 1 May 2023.

After gaining her foundations in tax and accounting in the Sydney CBD, Katherine O’Connor joined Allan Hall in 2008 and has continued her rise through the firm, culminating in her announcement as Director on Monday.

Katherine sets a high bar with her ability to provide an unwavering commitment to both her clients and Allan Hall team members, while also raising her three children and managing her CFO duties with her husband’s expanding Fire Protection company.

Katherine’s clients range from small businesses through to significant global entities and she applies the same level of personal attention and pride in her work with them all.

With her combined chartered accounting experience at Allan Hall Business Advisors and her first-hand commercial experience as a small business CFO, the expertise she offers her clients includes tax management, cash flow and profit enhancement and how to negotiate the many regulatory requirements facing businesses.

Internally, Katherine has played a leading role in the selection, development, mentoring and management of our strong team of accounting and support staff. She is committed to growing effective teams with clear communication and honest, transparent feedback and always has time and support for her team members. Her leadership has contributed to the continued awards that Allan Hall Business Advisors has won over recent years, including our announcement as Best Business Advisory Firm in the 2023 Client Choice Awards.

We warmly welcome Katherine to the Director Group and look forward to her ongoing success at Allan Hall.

We know you will all join us in congratulating Katherine on this wonderful achievement! 

Read Katherine’s full profile here »



Help for Directors to apply for a DIN

The Australian Business Registry Services have started contacting directors who are required to apply now for a director identification number (director ID).

Our clients who are currently directors or who are planning to become a director will need to apply for a director ID. Directors appointed under the Corporations Act:

  • before 1 November 2021, must apply by 30 November 2022
  • between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, must apply within 28 days of being appointed
  • from 5 April 2022, must apply before being appointed.

You can find more information about who needs to apply for a director ID at

Applying for a director ID online

Allan Hall cannot apply for a director ID on a client’s behalf. A director must apply for a director ID themselves. Apply for a director ID online at

Directors must set up their myGovID with a standard or strong identity strength before they apply for a director ID.

Applicants will need at least two of the following Australian identity documents to prove their identity:

  • Driver’s licence or learner’s permit
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Visa (using a foreign passport)
  • Citizenship certificate
  • ImmiCard
  • Medicare card

You can find a list of documents that you can use to prove your identity at

Directors will need additional information that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) knows about you when applying for a director ID online.

  1. Tax file number (not essential, but recommended)
  2. residential address as held by the ATO, and
  3. information from two documents to prove your identity — applicants can use any two of these documents:
  • Bank account details held by the ATO
  • ATO notice of assessment
  • Super account details
  • Dividend statement
  • Centrelink payment summary
  • PAYG payment summary

You can find more information about which documents can be used to prove your identity at

Directors who don’t apply online

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is responsible for enforcing director ID offences set out in the Corporations Act 2001. It is a criminal offence if directors do not apply on time, for more information about the penalties that may be applied, visit

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director id video

ABRS Video: Director ID in 3 steps

Director Identification Number deadline November 2022

If you need a director identification number (director ID), this video may help with your online application — outlined in 3 easy steps.

The ABRS is reaching out to directors who haven’t applied for their director ID within prescribed timeframes.

Directors are encouraged to avoid penalties for non-compliance by applying now:

director id video


suited man seated in a field

Director penalty notices

ATO follow up of unmet PAYG withholding, Superannuation Guarantee Charge and GST

In March the ATO started contacting company directors to inform them about their potential personal liability for company tax debts under the Director Penalty Notice (DPN) program.

A letter is being sent to directors of companies if the company has not met their debt obligations in respect of PAYG withholding, Superannuation Guarantee Charge and GST.

Directors will be notified that the ATO is considering issuing them with a DPN, which makes them personally liable for the debts of their business if the company does not actively manage their debt.

The focus is on making directors aware of their obligations and personal liabilities, and the actions that may be taken if they don’t engage. Clear pathways will be provided to re-engage, work with the ATO and avoid escalation.

There is information on the ATO website for help with paying and support in difficult times. It is crucial that directors engage with the ATO early before any debts become unmanageable.

Directors can access the ATO’s payment plan estimator to work out an affordable plan.

Generally, while there is a debt, general interest charges continue to apply so make sure all lodgments are bought up to date to avoid further penalties.