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Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Penalties

General interest charge


The general interest charge (GIC) is a uniform interest charge applied to unpaid tax liabilities. GIC is worked out daily on a compounding basis. The GIC rate is updated quarterly.


Shortfall interest charge


The shortfall interest charge (SIC) is applied to shortfall amounts when an income tax assessment is amended. The SIC rate is lower than the GIC rate.




Failure to meet a tax obligation may result in a penalty being applied. Penalties are calculated according to a statutory formula or in multiples of a 'penalty unit'.


Failure to lodge on time penalty


The failure to lodge (FTL) on time penalty is an administrative penalty that may be applied if your client is required to lodge a return, notice, statement or other approved form with us by a particular day and does not do so. Safe harbour provisions protect your client from the FTL penalty in some circumstances where they provided all relevant tax information to you.


False or misleading statement - safe harbour


Your client may not be liable to an administrative penalty for a false or misleading statement that results in a shortfall amount if the statement was made by you as their registered agent, your client provided all relevant tax information to you to enable the statement to be made correctly, and the shortfall amount was due to your lack of reasonable care.

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ATO Penalties

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