The financial year in Australia is from the 1st July to the 30th June the following year. Any Income and work-related expenses realised within that period are what make up your tax return. But when does the return need to be lodged with the ATO?
Lodging Tax Return dates depend on whether you are lodging the tax return yourself or through a registered tax agent.
Lodging Tax Return – Individual Lodgement
If you are lodging your own tax return, you have from the 1st July to the 31st October to lodge without incurring any penalties. You can lodge your return by yourself in two ways, either online or a paper tax return. Both of these options can be accessed through the ATO website.
The benefits of lodging online include:
- Information from your bank, employer and government agencies will be pre-filled by late August
- You will receive your return faster – usually within 2 weeks after lodgement
- Available 24/7
Paper returns, on the other hand, can be ordered online or by calling 1300 720 092. These forms are to be filled out and sent back to the ATO by the 31st October.
Lodging Tax Return – Registered Tax Agent
A registered tax agent, like Fitzpatrick Group, can be used to prepare and lodge your tax return for you. Registered tax agents have arrangements and lodgement schedules with the ATO so they can lodge later than the 31st October cut-off date. For Fitzpatrick Group, the latest lodgement date available is the 31st March the following year.
If you decide to use a tax agent, it is important to contact them before the 31st October to arrange your return.
Penalties for not lodging on time
If you fail to contact a tax agent or lodge your return by the 31st, it is not too late. The ATO can be flexible on the lodgement date in isolated claims of late lodgement. The ATO will warn you by phone or in writing if you have failed to lodge.
However, if you continually do not meet lodgement obligations, the ATO will fine you $180 for every 28 days that the return or statement is overdue up to a maximum of a $900 fine.
Continually failing to meet obligations will also put restrictions on any tax agent you use and may result in them no longer being able to lodge your return after 31st October without receiving a fine.
Pauline Campbell – Senior Accountant
A valued member of Fitzpatrick Group since 2000, Pauline has a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Accounting . She specialises in business and company tax returns, and excels at preparing and lodging BAS statements for her clients.