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The interest on overdue tax debt is known as general interest charge (GIC). GIC is tax deductible. Now and then, individuals experience circumstances where they cannot pay the tax bills and the interest rate for those double than what they are paying on a home loan. In these circumstances, they sometimes realise that the payment they make is actually for GIC not on the tax bills which are due. Thus, they can ask ATO to remit the GIC which ATO will consider if their claims are justifiable.
The Tax Office can remit GIC fully or partially in any of the following circumstances:

  • The delay was not made by the taxpayer and he/she made a reasonable action to reduce the delay. To apply for a remission in this basis, the taxpayer needs to tell ATO what went wrong which was beyond his/her control, like natural disaster and the action that he/she took to reduce the delay, like selling assets;
  • The delay was made by the taxpayer, but he/she has taken mitigating action and the reason must be fair and reasonable to remit. The taxpayer need to convince the ATO that the ordinary members of the community who pay their taxes on time would consider it fair that your interest is remitted;
  • There were some special circumstances and the reason of it would be fair and reasonable to remit. This might be where the taxpayer has a good record of paying taxes and for this special circumstance; he/she failed to pay a tax bill.

If the Tax Office decides not to remit GIC amount fully, in this case, the taxpayer cannot object or review provisions to obtain a review of the facts of the Tax Office’s decision. However, the taxpayer can challenge this decision by using administrative laws.

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