GST, fuel tax credit and other voluntary disclosures
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) recently provided the following advice for businesses on making voluntary disclosures, and for property owners on making creditable purpose GST adjustments.
Taxpayers may make a voluntary disclosure in relation to a net amount or net fuel amount by revising their previously lodged activity statement. You may also be able to correct a mistake in relation to GST or fuel tax credits on your current activity statement.
Taxpayers who claim their fuel tax credits using a claim form may make a voluntary disclosure by asking for an amendment to their claim.
Taxpayers may be able to correct an error made in an earlier activity statement in their current activity statement. If you are not eligible to do this, you need to revise the earlier period in which the error occurred.
If the revision increases your GST or reduces their fuel tax credits, the ATO will treat the revised activity statement as a voluntary disclosure, which is likely to mean a reduction in penalties and interest.
Taxpayers can also make a voluntary disclosure if you have made a false or misleading statement on a previous activity statement.
Property owners, developers or other taxpayers registered for GST who use their property in a different way from what they had originally planned may have to make a voluntary disclosure to report a GST adjustment.
For example, a taxpayer who decides to rent out rather than sell new residential premises has changed the business use or the ‘creditable purpose’ of their property. They may then have an increasing adjustment which they must record in their activity statement.
An adjustment is required even if the taxpayer intends to sell the premises at a later date or is in the process of marketing the property. If they later sell the new residential premises, they may then have a decreasing adjustment.
Taxpayers who did not report a property transaction at the time it occurred can still make a ‘creditable purpose’ adjustment, rather than revise the activity statement for that earlier period.
Taxpayers who make a voluntary disclosure may then avoid any shortfall penalties that would otherwise be applicable, and any general interest charge will be reduced.
Ref: ATO website, General, ‘Fix a mistake or amend a return’, 9 October 2023
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Yan Qi CA
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