COVID-19 update: The Government has announced a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies. You can find this information and stay up-to-date on the latest support for business on our coronavirus page or by calling 13 28 46.×

ATO administrative relief


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will provide administrative relief for certain tax obligations (similar to relief provided following the bushfires) for taxpayers affected by the coronavirus outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. The ATO will set up a temporary shop front in Cairns within the next few weeks with dedicated staff specialising in assisting small business. In addition, the ATO will consider ways to enhance its presence in other significantly affected regions to make it easier for people to apply for relief, including considering further temporary shop fronts and face-to-face options.

All taxpayers affected by the coronavirus outbreak can contact the ATO for assistance. You can contact the ATO on 1800 806 218 or visit the ATO website for further information.

Low interest payment plans

If your business has been affected by the coronavirus and you need help to pay your existing and ongoing tax liabilities, you can contact the ATO to discuss entering a low interest payment plan.

Payment deferrals


If you have been affected by the coronavirus, the ATO can work with you to defer some payments and vary instalments you have due.

Monthly GST credits


Businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle may elect to change their GST reporting and payment to monthly, to get quicker access to GST refunds you are entitled to. You can only change from the start of a quarter, so a change now will take effect from 1 April 2020.

Pay as you go instalments


If you're a quarterly pay as you go (PAYG) instalments payer you can vary your PAYG instalments on your activity statement for the March 2020 quarter. You can do this by lodging a revised activity statement before your instalment is due and before you lodge your income tax return for the year. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment rate or amount can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters.

Remitting interest and penalties


Where your business is affected by the coronavirus, the ATO will consider remitting interest and penalties applied to tax liabilities incurred after 23 January 2020.

Low interest payment plans


If your business has been affected by the coronavirus and you need help to pay your existing and ongoing tax liabilities, you can contact the ATO to discuss entering a low interest payment plan.

Employees working from home


From 1 March to 30 June 2020, the ATO is simplifying home office deduction rules so you can claim up to 80 cents per hour you work from home.

To claim a deduction for working from home, all of the following must apply:

  • you must have spent the money
  • the expense must be directly related to earning your income
  • you must have a record to prove it

You cannot claim a deduction for items provided by your employer or if you have been reimbursed for the expense.

If you're not reimbursed by your employer, but instead receive an allowance from them to cover your expenses when you work from home, you:

  • must include this allowance as income in your tax return
  • can claim a deduction as outlined in this fact sheet