The end may be in sight for local IT contractors whose pay has been held up during Plutus Payroll’s legal wrangles with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
The outsourced payroll management service provider, which focuses heavily on the IT sector, suspended operations on 27 April, after the ATO froze its accounts due to a dispute with the country’s tax collector.
“Our dispute is with the Australian Taxation Office who believe[s] that Plutus owes the ATO money,” Plutus said in a statement to customers published on 5 May.
The company said on 5 May that it had instructed its lawyers to urgently file proceedings in the Federal Court, asking the court to intervene and order the ATO to release its bank accounts, letting it pay its contractors.
It is understood that thousands of IT contractors were left with unpaid wages.
Now, the company claims to have made a “considerable amount of good progress” in its discussions with the ATO, and hopes that a practical resolution to the dispute, and payment of the amounts owed to contractors, can be made in the “coming days”.
“We are pleased to report that the ATO is working with us in good faith towards a resolution whereby all our contractors can be paid,” Plutus Payroll told contractors on 9 May.
“Presently, we are providing further information to the ATO about the amounts that are due to you,” it said.
The company said that, once it has resolved the issues of the amounts due to contractors with the ATO, it intends to continue to work with the agency to resolve the dispute through tax collector’s internal objection process.
“As previously advised, we believe that we have been compliant with these obligations but also appreciate that the ATO has a role in play in checking and ensuring compliance of all companies and individuals in Australia,” the company said.