From Keith to Katherine, Ceduna to Swan Reach, Rural Business Support works with rural businesses right across SA and NT. We have nine regional offices, with our staff also able to travel to meet with clients at their workplace or home.11.

COVID makes it harder to address ATO debt

Our client has a training business, affected by COVID and the inability to travel. He was referred to RBS by his bookkeeper.

Working collaboratively, we conducted a full review of his business financials and current cash flow to establish a Statement of Position. This gave a clear picture of his overall financial position – it didn’t look great.

Our client had a $35,000 ATO debt and had not been making any recent payments. We contacted the ATO together to discuss the debt and complete an Application for Release. We were advised that there could be a wait for up to 90 days for a response.

Together with the bookkeeper, we provided some options for him to keep on track and developed a Cash Flow Budget that included a plan to repay outstanding debts. He agreed to start making some ATO repayments while waiting for a response, and in the meantime, to clear as much of the outstanding debt as he could afford.

Things were progressing well and although the client didn’t stick to the Cash Flow Budget as well as he could have, he was going okay.

The ATO contacted and advised that he was not eligible for a release from his debt.

D-day came, and the client was required to make a large repayment. The client obtained a loan of $25,000 from a family member to help pay the ATO, and we saw immediate relief in his demeanour and approach once this burden had been dealt with.

Whilst there have been some stressful times, we have had some great outcomes. Over time, the client has repaid the ATO, the debt to his family member, and also decided to sell some unused assets.

This is a work in progress, and we continue to remind him that a change to his circumstances will only occur if he wants it to, his choice, his future.