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A tax return covers any income and expenses from July 1 to June 30 the following year (financial year). At the end of it, you have to lodge your tax returns on or before the October 31 deadline.

Upon completion, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will assess your income, expenses, and deductions to determine if you’ll have to pay additional taxes or get a refund.


Documents needed to file a tax return

Make sure you have the documents you may need that’s applicable for your tax return. Aside from income and bank statements, you’ll need to gather these additional information:

  • Pay As You Go (PAYG) payment summary
  • tax file number (TFN)
  • bank account details
  • details of any additional income (investments or rental income)
  • details of any Centrelink payments received
  • details of any other tax offset information
  • details of any occupation specific deductions you wish to claim
  • interest accumulated from bank account
  • medicare and private health care statements

You’ll need the following if you plan to claim more than $300 in work-related expenses:

  • copies of receipts or invoices
  • home office logbook
  • travel logbook
  • credit card statements


Lodging your tax return

After gathering information, it’s lodging time! Now, you can always lodge a paper tax return by mail.

Income tax can be complicated and you wouldn’t want to pay a fine or miss out on a refund. If you want to minimise and take some of the stress out of tax time, consider these ways to lodge your tax return.


Lodge online yourself

To get your refund faster, you can choose to do your tax return online 24/7.

MyTax is the easy, quick, and secure way to lodge your tax return online. MyTax is accessed through myGov. You can print and review your tax return before you lodge and see a detailed breakdown of your estimated additional taxes or refund.

You’ll have a quicker and easier experience as most information from your employer, bank, and government agencies will be pre-filled by early August. You can also upload your myDeductions (included in the ATO app) data to pre-fill your tax return.

For employees and sole traders, you can use myDeductions to keep records of your work, general expenses, income, and deductions to make lodging your tax return faster and easier.


myDeductions tool - ATO app


Download the ATO app then select the myDeductions icon.

Google Play           App Store

It usually takes up to 2 weeks for the ATO to process and pay your refund.

Note: The deadline to lodge your tax return is October 31.


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Lodge using a registered tax agent

Most people who lodge a tax return choose to do so through a registered accountant or tax agent because of obvious reasons.

Every profession varies when it comes to claiming deductions. A registered tax agent understands specific deductions and they are allowed to charge a fee to prepare and lodge your tax return. Their fee is also tax deductible on next year’s tax return.

Most registered tax agents have a special lodgment program and can lodge returns for their clients after the usual October 31 deadline.

Find a registered tax agent or check whether an agent is registered by visiting the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) website.


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