Good news for those who leave things to the last minute.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have announced they will not be penalising Australians for failure to lodge their 2015-2016 tax returns on time.
In a statement released on their website, the ATO attributed this decision to IT and system problems, which they also apologised for.
The issues we have encountered with our systems over the past few weeks highlight the sheer size, scale, and complexity of the ATO’s IT environment.
We continue to examine the triggers and cause of these issues and this analysis is informing the ongoing remediation work we are undertaking.
We can confirm recent events have not been related to our storage area network (SAN), but have been caused by other hardware or mainframe issues, and sometimes simply human error.
The system errors relate to a series of outages the ATO experienced in December 2016 and February 2017. They assured Australians that no taxpayer data had been lost or compromised, and government revenue for 2016-2017 had not been impacted.
In a separate statement, the ATO also stated that they are confident new measures in place will allow them to match the “experience of Tax Time 2016, and taxpayers will be able to lodge their returns and receive their refunds”.
The late payment leeway will be put in place automatically. Tax practitioners, their clients and other taxpayers do not need to contact the ATO.