Let’s talk about mental health and tax. Yep, these two things aren’t usually thought of together. But the ATO has a page on their website dedicated to small business owners experiencing mental health issues.

Why? Because when someone is running a business and is experiencing a mental health issue like depression, anxiety or something else, this can affect their clients, their staff and also their meeting their tax and super obligations. The ATO lists a number of signs that may indicate a person is experiencing a mental health issue, such as:

– finding it hard to concentrate
– avoiding necessary day-to-day tasks and obligations
– feeling irritable, stressed or teary
– constantly thinking of work, even during personal time
– being unable to sleep
– disconnecting from friends and family
– changing eating and/or drinking habits.

As an individual and as a business owner, your mental health is important.

The ATO says they “understand these circumstances can affect meeting your tax and super obligations. If you’re having difficulty paying your tax, we encourage you to contact us as early as possible. You can speak with us directly, or ask someone to speak with us on your behalf. We want to work with you to solve the problem before the situation escalates; it’s never too late to speak with us.”

– Tailored payment plans
– Lodgment and payment deferral

go to https://www.ato.gov.au/general/financial-hardship/small-business-owners-experiencing-mental-health-issues/

Or, talk to your trusted local accountant. Please don’t be ashamed to talk with us if a mental health issue is impacting your capacity to complete your tax and super obligations. Most of us have experienced a mental health issue at some time or know someone who has.

If you are in this situation and need some assistance with your tax returns, call the ATO or talk to us.  For help with mental health and wellbeing contact Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/ on 13 11 14.

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