What is Tax Right Off in Australia

Tax Right Off is a service provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to help make tax time less stressful for individuals. It enables you to settle your outstanding debts with an arrangement that suits you, rather than having to deal with payment deadlines.

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You can use the Tax Right Off service if you owe money to the ATO and are struggling to pay it back. If eligible, you can enter into a repayment arrangement with us over a longer period. By doing this, you may be able to reduce or remove any penalties that apply for not meeting your original obligation on time.

Who can access this service?

Taxpayers who have an overdue debt owed to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) after the due date and meet the eligibility requirements can access this service.

You must be registered for myGov to use the Tax Right Off service. If you’re not already registered, go to www.ato.gov.au/mygov and follow the steps to create a myGov account and link it to ATO online services.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for this service you need to:

be an individual (including sole traders) or trustee of a trust; owe money as a result of your tax affairs with us; have entered into an arrangement with us concerning that debt; not be bankrupt; and either:

have no overdue debts owed to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) other than those being considered for collection through the Tax Right Off service; or

have an overdue debt owed to another entity and no other overdue debts owed to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at the time you lodge your request.

How does this service work?

Before we can talk about any options available, you need to:  gather the information that will help us understand why you haven’t paid and how much is outstanding; and give us your bank account details so we can discuss those options with you.

We’ll aim to contact you within two business days of receiving your request. We’ll talk to you about what’s happening, what could happen if there are no changes, as well as explore all options so we can reach a resolution that works for you.

You may need to provide documents to support your request, so please keep all records of contact with us, in case we ask you to send them in.

What happens if my request is accepted?

If we agree to collect your debt through this service, we’ll put it on hold and contact you again when the arrangements are complete. We’ll discuss how much money you’re able to pay each week based on your income and outgoings. This includes any lump-sum payments that might be available at that time (such as money from a tax refund or bonus payment).  We’ll also consider whether you can make extra repayments over what you’ve agreed each week if they become available. If changes happen which you think may affect the amount we collect from you, please contact us straight away. We’re able to make adjustments to your repayment plan if necessary.

What happens if my request is declined?

If we decline your request for an arrangement or if we can’t arrange with you, the debt will go back on hold and continue as before (which means:  you’ll be sent reminders when it’s due; you’ll need to keep paying any outstanding tax debt; and where possible, money owing will be recovered through our usual debt collection methods). Any interest or penalty charges that apply will also start accruing again at their normal rates. However, in some circumstances, no further interest and/or penalty charges may apply if it would be harsh to do so.

If you think your request for this service has been declined in error, please contact us on 1800 008 540 or at tax.debt@ato.gov.au and we’ll investigate further.

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