Filing your tax return

Contributed by AnnetteMorgan and current to 27 July 2018

It is most likely that your tax return will be due on 31 October each year. If you cannot meet this date, you should lodge an application for an extension of time with the ATO. This must be lodged before the due date and the application should state your reasons for requiring an extension.

Tax agents are allowed to spread their work over the bulk of the working year. As a result, one advantage of using a tax agent to lodge a return is that for many taxpayers the return will not have to be lodged until 15 May in the year after the taxation year, However, when you use a tax agent for the first time you must complete a form provided by the tax agent, preferably prior to 30 November.

The ATO instruction booklets indicates where you should lodge your returns.The ATO preferred method is that you lodge your return online by MyTax: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Lodging-your-tax-return/Lodge-online/
MyTax software is available from the ATO website shortly after the start of a new income year and refunds from returns lodged by MyTax can be expected within 14 days of lodgement. Alternatively, you can post your completed return via the various regional Taxation Offices and your postcode will determine to which of those Offices you should send the form

Once the ATO has completed your assessment, a notice setting out the details is issued and posted to you. Where you are entitled to a refund, the notice will indicate this and the bank account you have specified will be directly credited with the amount. Where you are required to pay additional tax this will be indicated on the notice, along with a date by which you must pay it.

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