Reply To: Overdur BAS & outstanding personal & family trust return

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There are several tricks to this one.

For a late BAS, you will be charged for a late BAS, but you will not be charged for a BAS lodged on time with incorrect reporting on it. I have lodged many BAS for my own business and my clients, with made up figures. The ATO has no idea. Then at some later point in time, you write to ATO with letter claiming you have redone a certain period and you now lodge new figures. As long as you pay the money owed (if any) there are no penalties for this. While going through a divorce this was regular practice for over 2 years.

If you are continuing on business, then your tax debt stands, because you agreed to an ABN and so you consent to all their tax laws. A way around this is to open a Private Foundation ( and run your business without any tax or ABN at all. When you give up your ABN you can then claim to ATO that your business cannot pay the debt and YOU are NOT your business. Even as a sole trader, you have a TFN and an ABN, this means that the (corporate) person with the TFN is still not the business because the business has an ABN. You can step away from the ABN and declare the same to the ATO but nobody does. I did years ago, I walked away from a $20k partnership tax debt, the ATO argued with me and tried to get me to accept payment plans, but then when I refused this offer, they said “ok, we will let you off this debt but if you ever run that partnership again, the debt will be reinstated”. I agreed to that, because it was never going to happen.

If you need to argue further with the ATO, ask them for proof that the ATO has been ratified. They cannot prove it. They now have such documents on their web site, but when I challenged them in an online chat about these documents, they suddenly closed the chat claiming closing hours, but it was 2 hours before closing.