Lodging your Tax Return: Things to Remember

Here are the things you need to remember in lodging your tax return.

Information needed for preparing your tax return

There are several things you need to prepare to help you lodge your tax return properly:

  • Financial records
    You need the following documents:
    • A summary of your payments from your employer/s or payers you took income from for the duration of the financial year, even those from Centrelink.
    • Financial statements from institutions like banks, credit unions and building societies to find out how much interest you received.
    • An earnings statement if you have investments in a managed mutual fund or unit trust.
    • Dividend statements if you received any disbursements from companies.
    • Receipts if you're looking to claim for deductions.
    • All buy and sell stock advice from your stockbroker and/or investment advisor for shares you bought or sold.
  • Tax file number
    Your tax file number, or TFN, is a nine-digit number expressed in three groups of three digits. You'll need your TFN when lodging your tax return so make sure you have it. You can find your TFN in the following:
    • ?Your previous income tax notice of assessment.
    • Your payment summaries.
    • Any mail from the Australian Taxation Office.
  • E-tax pre-filling service
    You can avail of a pre-filling service in e-tax that downloads information that ATO received from organisations, like your employer and bank, directly into the corresponding labels of your tax return.

Ways to lodge your tax return

  • Lodge online with e-tax
    You can download the e-tax software from the ATO's website.
  • Lodge by mail
    To get a copy of TaxPack, a free document to help you complete your tax return, you can download it from the ATO website, ask for a copy through ATO's online publications ordering service or get one free from most newsagents.
  • Lodge by phone
    If you received the form titled Short tax return for individuals via the mail, and your taxes are uncomplicated, you can lodge your tax return by phone.
  • Through a registered tax agent
    The tax agent you hire must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board.

When to lodge your tax return

A financial year begins every July 1 and ends on June 30 the following year. After the financial year ends, you can file your tax return until October 31. However, having a tax agent allows you to lodge later than October 31, but you need to be registered as a client before October 31 to qualify.

If you’re unable to lodge your tax return by October 31 or by your tax agent’s lodgement date, call ATO at 13 28 61 to find out if you can lodge at a later date. Remember, there are penalties for late lodgement.

Help in preparing your tax return

You have a few options in preparing and filing your tax return:

  • Hire a tax agent
    Here are some things to remember when choosing your accountant.
  • Use the Tax Help program
    You can take advantage of ATO's trained community volunteers. To find out if you're eligible, visit the ATO website.
  • Get help from friends or family
    Ask friends or family for help, especially those who experienced in lodging tax returns. Take note that only registered tax agents can charge for preparing your tax return.