NOTE: If you are looking for due dates for other taxpayer types (companies, trusts, etc, see below for videos for each!)

When Are Tax Returns Due for Individuals in Australia?

As always with Australia’s tax system, the answer depends on a few factors, but here are the key things to keep in mind for the 2020 tax year which ends on 30 June 2020 –

If you are lodging directly with the ATO

If you plan to prepare your own (and this includes getting informal help from family and / or friends), your return is due to be lodged on 31 October 2020!

If you get your return right, and it goes through the ATO process smoothly, you will likely receive your Notice of Assessment over the coming 12 to 50 days (yes their service standard is that varied).  If you are due a refund, it will come around the same time as the Notice of Assessment.  If you have an amount to pay the Notice of Assessment will tell you when it is due.  This could vary depending on a number of things, but generally expect it to be within 2 to 4 weeks after the Notice of Assessment is issued.

(If you are considering preparing your return without seeking the assistance of an Accountant, we recommend you check out our recent Blog post “Who can prepare tax returns“.)

If you lodge via an Accountant (who is a Registered Tax Agent)

If your Accountant is lodging for you, generally, so long as you have a good lodgement history with the ATO (see below), you receive a substantial extension on your due date for both lodgement and payment compared to those who lodge themselves (yes I can confirm CapitalQ have a very good lodgement history with the ATO and can access the full range of extensions for all our Clients).

Most individual tax returns will be due on 15 May 2021 (that’s right, almost an entire year after 30 June).  And if your Accountant has a good record with the ATO, they actually can probably get a further extension on that for you if you really need it!

Some individual tax returns will however be due on 31 March 2021.  This applies to those who pay a lot of tax at lodgement time.  So this date generally doesn’t apply to people who’s primary earnings are from wages and salaries where tax is withheld throughout the year, but it applies to people that have substantial other income (including investment and business income) where tax is not taken out during the year.

In terms of refunds and payments …

  • Refunds tend to come through very quickly when tax returns are lodged by Accountants, sometimes it can literally be just days after lodgement, but usually we recommend expecting your funds within around 2 weeks.
  • Due dates vary quite a bit, but generally it will rarely be due prior to February 2021, and more often than not it is not due until 5 June 2021!

So there are definitely some further good reasons to have an Accountant (who is a Registered Tax Agent) prepare and lodge your tax returns for you.

But, if you have not been so good when it comes to your taxes …

For those that don’t have a good lodgement history, unfortunately your return will be due on 31 October 2020 being the same as people who lodge themselves.  There is little any Tax Agent, including us, can do about that.  AND your tax is due that same day also!  (It pays to lodge on time each year!)

We have recently recorded two videos providing information and our thoughts on the real consequences of having overdue tax returns, so you can check the videos out below …

Want to qualify for the extension?

If you want to qualify for an extension to lodge and / or pay, not to mention ensure you pay the least amount of tax legally possible and ensure your tax returns are lodge correctly without risk of ATO confrontations, you need to be signed up as a Client with an Accountant BEFORE 31 October.  If you have a bad lodgement history already and this years tax return is due on 31 October, if your Accountant can get you lodged by that date this time round you will qualify for the extensions again next year!

Need to know about due dates for other Return types?

Check out our other videos –

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So don’t put it off any longer…




Or … If you prefer to speak to someone directly, please call our Receptionist, Mariama, NOW on 08 9228 7100 and she will find a time that suits you best.

And remember, if you can’t make it to our Office that is no problem, we can work via phone and email so distance need not hold you back from experiencing the CapitalQ difference.


The information provided here is designed to act as a general guide only.  It does not cover all possible scenarios and does not consider your personal circumstances.  Further we can not guarantee the information remains up to date or relevant in light of any changes.  You should not rely on the information provided without seeking personalised, professional advice.  CapitalQ disclaim all liability where unauthorised and unapproved reliance is placed on the above information. *Terms & Conditions Apply.