On 28 November 2012, the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Serious Drugs, Identity Crime and Other Measures) 2012 received royal assent. This Act increases the value of a penalty unit from $110 to $170 and requires the value of a penalty unit to be reviewed every three years. The value of a penalty unit has not increased since 1997.

The change affects the value of a penalty unit in most Commonwealth laws, including the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

The new value of a penalty unit will apply prospectively, that is, where the matter giving rise to the penalty occurs on or after 28 December 2012.

This means that, for example, the ATO can charge a maximum penalty of $850 for non lodgement of a BAS rather than the current maximum amount of $550. This equates to a one off increase of 54.5%!

If you are having trouble with your business and the ATO we can help you. Our experienced team of tax accountants and tax lawyers at The Quinn Group can liaise with the ATO for you. Call us on 1300 QUINNS (1300 784 667) to arrange an appointment or submit an online enquiry.