Pay As You Go (PAYG) Instalments is a system for paying instalments during the income year towards your expected tax liability on your business and investment income. Your actual tax liability is worked out at the end of the income year when your annual income tax return is assessed. Your PAYG instalments for the year are credited against your assessment to determine whether you owe more tax or are owed a refund.
The ATO will contact entities and individuals who are required to pay PAYG instalments, notifying them of their instalment rate. This is calculated according to information in the last assessed income tax return.
PAYG instalments are generally paid quarterly, however some taxpayers pay two instalments a year and some have an annual instalment option. The annual instalment is a single, lump sum payment of your PAYG liability for the year. For more information see the PAYG Annual Instalment Fact Sheet. If you are not eligible to pay an annual instalment, you can pay PAYG instalments quarterly. Each quarter the ATO will send you an activity statement. The due date for lodging this and paying any amounts due will be printed on the statement. This is also the case if you choose the 2-instalment option, which applies to some primary and special professionals (eg sports professionals and authors).
Some entities and individuals pay an instalment amount calculated by the ATO, but most companies work out their own instalment amount based on their instalment rate multiplied by their business and investment income. The main advantage of working out your own instalment amount is that your instalments are based on your income as you earn it, instead of a projection based on your previous tax situation.
MORE: For more information see the PAYG Instalments section of the ATO website.