Every year, thousands of tax returns must be filed by resident and non-resident Australians. Australian tax law dictates that residents earning over AUD 18,200 per year – the tax-free threshold – must file a return, while non-residents earning AUD 1 or more must file an individual tax return.
Australia’s tax year is a 12-month period that runs from 1 July to the 30 June the following year; if you are required to fill in a tax return according to the criteria above, your tax return will be due after the 30 June and by the 31 October, unless you’re granted an extension.
For many people, lodging an individual tax return is stressful, which is one reason why many Australians turn to chartered accountants each year to help them with their taxes. If you’d like to fill in your tax return yourself but want to make sure you get it right, follow our step-by-step guide.
1. Gather the correct documents
You can make filing your tax return much less stressful by ensuring you have everything you need before you start. The information that you’ll need to have to hand before starting your tax return includes:
- Your PAYG payment summary from your employer
- Your Tax File Number (TFN)
- Your bank account details
- Details of additional income from investments or other sources
- Details of bank account interest
- Your partner’s income details, where relevant
- Medicare statements
You’ll also need additional information if you intend to claim more than $300 in work-related expenses, including invoices and receipts, credit card statements, a travel logbook, and a home office logbook.
2. Lodge your tax return online with myTax
myTax is a government system that is used to lodge individual tax returns online. It’s the quickest, simplest, and safest way to fill in your tax return. All the information you will need to complete your tax return using myTax is included in the list above, and if you get stuck while completing your tax return you can always contact a team of professional accountants, like Charter Partners, to look over your return for you and ensure that everything has been completed in line with Australian standards.
3. Pay your tax
The final stage of completing your individual tax return is paying the tax you owe. In most cases, you will be able to pay this immediately following the lodging of your tax return. If you are struggling to pay your tax, it’s often possible to set up a payment plan which will allow you to pay the tax you owe in regular instalments. However, even if you cannot pay the tax immediately, it’s important to make sure you still file your return by the deadline of 31 October.
Anthony McPhee, Principal
B.Bus (Accy) QUT | FCPA, SSA (SMSF Specialist Advisor with the SMSF Association) & Registered Tax Agent
Anthony has over 25 years accountancy, taxation and superannuation (SMSF) experience. He eagerly welcomes a challenge and his passion is in small business accounting, superannuation, consulting and taxation advice. He provides real business benefits for each of his clients and is well regarded for his succinct and accurate accounting skills. Anthony is also a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) specialist with Australia’s leading SMSF body, The SMSF Association.