CANBERRA, AAP – The Australian Taxation Office has restarted tax debt collections before it becomes problematic for businesses to pay back, having shown leniency during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tax commissioner Chris Jordan has told senators the ATO is taking a measured approach.

It is contacting businesses individually to make sure they’re aware of their tax debts and is trying to at least come to an acceptable payment arrangement.

“We are concerned the longer businesses stay out on engagement with us the more problematic these collection of debts are,” Mr Jordan told the Senate economics committee on Wednesday.

He said the stock of debt has gone up 14 per cent on the same time last year and is now around $40 billion.


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“This is something we just cannot ignore,” Mr Jordan said.

He said this is largely undisputed debt with the businesses concerned.