When Should You Do Your Tax Return?

Taxes Past DueAustralia’s financial year runs from July 1 until June 30 of the following year – if you weren’t sure, you’d only need to turn on a television in May or June to see all the EOFY ads telling you all about the big date! But what about what comes next – filing your tax return? Depending on your personal circumstances the due date for your tax return can vary by more than six months, so it’s a good idea to find out exactly when yours is due.

If you are completing your own tax return, it is due by October 31 – four months after the end of financial year. This is also the due date if you are using a tax agent but had outstanding tax returns for one or more previous years on the June 30 deadline.

If you are using a tax agent, you need to register with them before October 31 in order to be eligible to use their extended deadline dates, which for most taxpayers using an agent is March 31 – nine months after the end of financial year. If your most recent tax liability was under $20,000, the date is extended to May 15.

For those individuals who are eligible for the May 15 deadline and fail to lodge on time, there is a concession that if they lodge their return along with any amount due by June 5, the ATO will waive any penalties. Discuss this option with your agent in order to avoid any unexpected surprises.

In order to budget for any additional payments, you should be aware that payments are normally due the later of either; 21 days after the lodgement date, or 21 days after you are deemed to have received the notice of assessment (which is calculated to be 3 days after it was sent out). The ATO aims to complete assessments within 12 days for online lodgements and 50 days for paper lodgements, so if you are expecting a refund, the sooner you submit your return, the sooner you will receive payment.

Failure to submit tax returns or submitting fraudulent returns can result in penalties, either as a percentage of the amount owed, or as a number of penalty units (one penalty unit currently equals $170), so it is in your best interests to submit accurate, timely tax returns.

These dates are applicable for individuals. Companies and trusts have a number of other important dates each year that we will discuss in a future article.

By Jennifer Lowe

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