ATO Payment Plans

There may be times when cash is tight and paying bills on time difficult

At these times, payment plans with your creditors may be helpful.

But did you know that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), one of the biggest creditors to small businesses, allows payment of tax debt by instalments as an option?

An ATO Payment Plan is a way for businesses to pay their debt by instalments. Arranging for your business to have an ATO payment plan can provide a legal and convenient way to respond to an overwhelming tax debt.

A payment plan can be set up online via a myGov account, over the phone or by an authorised agent and can help small business owners:

  • Manage cash flow
  • Repay tax debt
  • Avoid unnecessary insolvency action
  • Keep business operating

When setting up a payment plan, you need to consider how much you can pay so you can meet each scheduled instalment, including interest that may accrue on any overdue amounts.

You still need to lodge your activity statements and tax returns on time, even if you can’t pay by the due date. This will show the ATO that you’re aware of your obligations and doing your best to meet them.

The ATO has a payment plan estimator tool that can be used as part of your initial discussions on a payment plan that might work for your business.

If the ATO requests that you demonstrate your businesses viability, they will request additional financial information and explanations regarding the need for the payment plan.

Default of a payment plan

If you miss or are late with a payment on your existing payment plan, this will automatically default a payment plan. Failure to lodge activity statements and tax returns on time and paying them in full by the due date will also automatically default an existing payment plan.

By defaulting a payment plan, it creates bad payment history and should be avoided where possible as it will make it more difficult to put plans in place in the future if needed.

Contact us and we can talk to the Tax Office on your behalf to try to arrange a payment plan for your BAS debt. If you are a Notch Above Bookkeeping client currently supported by us, this service is included in your monthly package.

NewAccess for Small Business Owners

Program aims to give small business owners, including sole traders, the support they need

NewAccess for Small Business Owners is a free and confidential mental health coaching program, developed by Beyond Blue.

The program uses Low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (LiCBT) that allows participants to recognise the way they think, act, and feel and break unhelpful thoughts.

Over six sessions, coaches with a small business background will work with you to overcome difficult issues, providing you with practical skills to manage stress and get you back to feeling like yourself.

At your first appointment your coach will complete an initial assessment with you, and develop a program tailored to your individual needs.

NewAccess for Small Business Owners is available nationally by phone or video call.

Why you’ll love NewAccess for Small Business Owners 

  • A free and confidential mental health coaching program, developed by Beyond Blue.
  • Designed to support small business owners like you, manage life pressures so you can move forward
  • The structured six session program will give you practical tools
  • You’ll work with a coach who will guide you through a tailored, personal program
  • No doctor’s referral or mental health treatment plan required – so you don’t have to visit a doctor first
  • It’s available via phone, video call from Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm AEST.  The program is closed on public holidays

NewAccess for Small Business Owners uses Low-intensity Cognitive Based Therapy (LiCBT) to recognise the way we think, act and feel. You will have a Coach to help you tackle unhelpful thoughts and behaviours, using an individual plan that you develop together.

NewAccess for Small Business Owners is available nationally by phone or video call. To read more about NewAccess coaches, the program or how to make an enquiry, visit


Accounting 101: Cost Of Goods Sold (COGS)

Why knowing your COGS is important

The Cost Of Goods Sold (COGS) refers to the cost of producing an item or service sold by a business.

Key points

  • Knowing how to calculate COGS can help determine if your business is profitable
  • Calculating COGS correctly can inform a proper price point for an item or service
  • Understanding COGS can help you better manage stock, tax and your business.

Correctly calculating the Cost Of Goods Sold

Calculate the COGS by adding the cost of stock at the start of the financial year to purchases made throughout that year. Then, subtract the cost of stock remaining at the financial year-end. The final number will be the yearly COGS for your business.

By subtracting the annual COGS from your annual revenue, you can determine gross profit. Remember, to arrive at an accurate COGS figure, you’ll need to value your stock.

The COGS may include:

  • Materials used to create a product or perform a service
  • Labour needed to make a product or perform a service
  • Overhead costs directly related to production (for example, the cost of electricity to run an assembly line).

The Cost Of Goods Sold excludes:

  • Indirect expenses (for example, distribution or marketing)
  • Overhead costs associated with general business operations
  • The cost of creating unsold stock or services.

There are other stock costing factors that may influence your overall COGS. The Australian Taxation Office refers to these methods as First In First Out (FIFO), Last In First Out (LIFO) and Average Cost.

Significance of COGS in Profit and Loss reporting

The Profit And Loss Statement or ‘P&L’ is a summary of business income and expenses over a specific period. Ideally it should be prepared at regular intervals (usually monthly and at financial year-end) to show the results of operations for a given period.

Profit or loss is calculated in the following way:

Sales — Discounts and Commissions = Net Sales — Cost Of Goods Sold = Gross Profit — Expenses = Net Profit

Calculating the COGS varies depending on whether a business is retail, wholesale, manufacturing or a service business:

  • In retailing and wholesaling, computing for COGS during the reporting period involves opening and closing stock. This includes purchases made during the reporting period.
  • In manufacturing, it involves finished-goods stock, plus raw materials stock, goods-in-process stock, direct labour and direct factory overhead costs.
  • In the case of a service business, the revenue is derived from the activities of individuals rather than the sale of a product so therefore calculating COGS is a smaller task due to the low-level use of materials required to earn the income. Opening and closing work-in-progress, valued as time spent on jobs yet not billed, forms part of the COGS calculation in a service business.

Having accurate COGS data can help show you how your business is performing. Besides being a driver of business profit, it can help you set prices for your products.

To delve further into the concept of the COGS in your business, how to calculate it and how to apply it, contact the cloud business bookkeeping team at Notch Above Bookkeeping, Australia-wide, on 1300 015 130.

retail shopping mall

Minimum Wage Rate 2.5% increase

Queensland Minimum Wage Rate will increase by 2.5%

Minimum wages in the Retail Award increase from 1 September.

The FWC’s Pay Calculator and Pay guides now have updated rates.

For the list of awards that will increase later in the year, see When does the increase start?

Following the Annual Wage Review 2021, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) announced a 2.5% increase to the national minimum wage and all award wages. The increase to award wages is happening in 3 stages. The FWC has also issued decisions to change some terms and conditions in several awards.

What do you need to do?

You can find the new minimum pay rates in the FWC’s Pay Calculator and Pay guides, for all awards that increased from 1 July and 1 September 2021. The Pay Calculator and pay guides will be updated for the awards increasing in November closer to their start date. For the list of awards that increase in November, see When does the increase start?

You can also use Find my award if you’re not sure which award applies to you.

Who does the increase apply to?

The increase applies to anyone who is paid minimum award wages or the national minimum wage.

Most employees are covered by an award. If you’re not sure which award applies, use Find my award.

If you’re covered by a registered agreement, you should check it to see whether this increase affects you.

For anyone not covered by an award or an agreement, the new national minimum wage is $772.60 per week or $20.33 per hour.

When does the increase start?

The new national minimum wage applies from your first full pay period on or after 1 July 2021.

There was also an increase to the Super guarantee for all eligible employees from 1 July 2021.

The increase to minimum award pay rates is happening in 3 stages.

The increase doesn’t affect employees who already get paid more than their new minimum wage.

1 July 2021 award increase

Most awards increased from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2021.

1 September 2021 award increase

The increase for the Retail Award applies from the first full pay period on or after 1 September 2021. This means if you have a weekly pay period that starts on Mondays, the new rates apply from Monday 6 September 2021.

You can find the new minimum rates in our Pay Calculator and Pay guides.

1 November 2021 award increase

21 awards increase from the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2021. Read more »

Please note, wage rate changes will need to be done manually which we do in consultation with our payroll clients. We strongly recommend that you make time to check your settings.

For assistance, contact our Xero Platinum Certified business bookkeepers at Notch Above Bookkeeping, Australia-wide, on 1300 015 130.

Source: Fair Work Ombudsman