It’s no secret that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are sometimes seen as a debt collector – after all, it is their role to collect many types of taxation from the community on behalf of the Government.
But did you know that you, or your business, may have more than one “account” with the ATO?
For example, if you have a Higher Education Loan Payment (HELP) debt, this amount is isolated in a separate account attached to your Tax File Number (TFN).
Movements in the HELP account may relate to additional fees incurred, annual indexation and repayments applied at the time you lodge your tax return.
Similarly, most of us have an “Income Tax Account” which records our actual tax liability upon lodgement of our income tax return, as well as refunds issued or payments made.
One account you may not be familiar with is the “Integrated Client Account” or “ICA” – the ICA is attached to the TFN of all individuals or businesses who have GST, Fuel Tax Credits, PAYG Withholding or PAYG Instalment transactions (among others).
Important to note is that each of these accounts has a different numerical identifier for you to use when making payments.
It is extremely important to review your documentation from the ATO thoroughly, prior to making payments, in order to ensure that the payment will be applied to the correct account.
If you are concerned that you may have made a payment to an incorrect account, contact your registered tax agent and they will be able to check with the ATO on your behalf, and rectify the situation.