ARA welcomes Government’s ATO debt recovery changes for small business

Monday 10 May 2021

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s changes allowing small businesses to pause or modify Australian Tax Office (ATO) debt recovery actions through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said the procedural changes could save small businesses significant court and legal fees and were an important first step to provide small businesses with flexibility if disputing debt recovery actions by the ATO.

“The provision of an appeals process is an important change for small businesses, who can avoid the expensive court system, which is prohibitive for many who would seek to contest ATO debt recovery actions,” Mr Zahra said.

“These changes are a crucial first step in providing small retailers with a defence against ATO debt recovery actions, which can leave it almost impossible for them to operate after actions have been taken.

“Retailers have had mixed fortunes during the post-pandemic recovery, with struggling CBD and tourism-dependent retailers needing ongoing support. These business owners need to be supported as they seek to rebuild without the added pressure of expensive ATO disputes.

“The ARA congratulates the Treasurer on the changes and we look forward to continuing to work with the Federal Government to ensure small businesses are in the best possible position as they build towards a recovery.”

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