Lodging a Tax Return in Australia | Step-by-Step Guide

For many people, Lodging a tax return can be challenging. But being prepared makes lodging tax easier.  If you’re earning an income, you’ll need to lodge a tax return even if your employer withholds taxes from your pay.

You’ll need to declare all your income when you lodge a return tax. The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) gave out $30.53 billion in tax refunds during the 2020-2021 financial year.

What is Lodging a tax return?

A tax return covers all the income through the financial year, starting on 1st July and ending on 30 June the following year. At the end of the year you’ve limited time to lodge your tax return. Generally speaking, the deadline is the 31st of October.

If you earn an income, you’re usually paying the tax. As a salaried employee, your employer detects the tax from each pay and transfers it to the ATO on your behalf. This is known as Pay As You Go (PAYG). If you’re self-employed, and use an Australian Business Number (ABN), you’ll need to pay your tax.

When you complete your tax return, the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) accesses your expenses, detections to determine if you’ll get a tax refund or pay additional taxes.

What information do I need to lodge a Tax Return?

The more organised you’re, the easier to lodge a tax return. The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) will have all the access to download into your tax return, such as the Income Statements from your employer, and central health insurance.

Additional information you’ll need to collect includes:

  1. Your Tax File Number (TFN) which you can get your previous notice of assessment.
  2. Your Bank Account details.
  3. Bank account interest accumulated.
  4. Details of other income such as business, rental income, and expenses and subcontract home. 
  5. Details of any occupation specific.
  6. Foreign income

If you plan to claim more than $30,00 so, you’ll also need

  1. Copies of invoices, which can be hard or electrical form.
  2. Travel logbook
  3. Home office logbook.
  4. Credit card statements

Also read about: How Much do I pay?

Can I lodge my own Tax Return?

Yes, you can lodge your tax return either from the online ATO website or get a registered tax agent  to assist you.

If you’re not sure about the Australia Tax, and have some complex situation, it can be helpful to get a registered tax agent help in your tax return. They’ll charge a fee but it’s tax-deductible when you lodge your tax return the following year.

If you lodge your own tax return, it is very quick to do that on the ATO website, but you’ll need a myGov account first. The ATO’s myTax has a ‘pre-fil’ function, which can assist you make sure you don’t forget any important information.

The ATO states that the soft form returns within 2 weeks, but paper processed manually which takes up to 10 weeks. Depending on your income or other conditions, you may be eligible for return tax, ATO’s Tax Help program, where trained and accredited community volunteers can help you lodge your tax return online. Use our GST Calculator for calculate your Tax.

Also read about: How to apply TFN in Australia

How to Lodging a Tax return?

Lodge online with myTax

You can lodge your return tax using the myTax Application, free on ATO’s online tax return. Connect your myGov account to ATO for lodging online. Return lodge usually takes two weeks.

Lodging from myTax is easy and free. Most information from employer, banks, Gov., and health funds will be automatically included in your tax return by late July. You just have to check and enter the correct details, enter any income that isn’t there, add any deductions you’ve, and then submit. Mytax will calculate your tax.

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Get help from a Registered Tax Agent?

You can also get help from a Tax agent to lodge a return tax, make sure you use a registered tax agent. You can also check if the agent is registered or not on the tax practitioner register. Most agents have special lodgment schedulers and can lodge returns for their clients later than the 31 October deadline.

Whichever way you choose to lodge a return tax, make sure you’re responsible for the claim. Make sure your provided documents, deductions are legitimate before you or your agent lodges your return.

What happens once I lodge my Tax Return?

Once the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) processed your return tax. They will send you a notice of Assessment (NoA). They’ll tell you whether you’re due a refund or you need to give more money to ATO.

It’s very important to hold your NoA, and the information you prepared to refund your tax. You may need this information in future – for example, if the ATO asks you about your tax return, or if you do your tax return online in the future.

How do I Fix a Mistake in my Tax Return?

Regardless of how you choose to lodge your tax return, It’s important to double check everything before submitting your tax return lodge. Because you’re responsible for all the information included in your tax return.

If you find a mistake, or that an amount has been excluded, after you lodged your tax return, you’ll need to lodge an ‘amendment’ of your tax return. You can also check the amendment information on the ATO site. Your agent or financial advisor also guides the process.