When Are Tax Returns Due for Individuals in Australia
Duncan here from CapitalQ.
So this is the first of a series I will do regarding when all the different tax return types are due for lodgement.
And in this video we will be discussing when income tax returns for individual taxpayers are due.
Now if you have other elements to your business or investment structure. Including companies, trusts, partnerships, etc then different dates may well apply to them and you should see our specific videos for those entity types.
Also, unfortunately as is always the case when it comes to tax in Australia (and often around the world), there are numerous exceptions to the primary rules, including if you have outstanding prior year returns or otherwise a bad lodgement history, amongst others.
So what I am about to discuss applies to the majority of people, but you should always seek personalised, specialists advice for your own unique circumstances.
Having said all that, if you plan to lodge your own tax return and you are an individual tax payer, generally it will be due on 31 October! Being 4 months after the end of the financial year, which of course in Australia ends on 30 June.
If however you lodge through an Accountant, you have much, much longer, which I will discuss further in just a few moments.
But for now, sticking with self-lodgement, assuming you get it through the ATO system without any hiccups, you can generally expect to receive your Notice of Assessment within 2 weeks (though it can take longer).
And if you are lucky enough to be receiving a refund, it will generally follow the notice of assessment within a couple of days.
If however you have tax to pay …
The Notice of Assessment will tell you when payment is due …
And you can expect that to be around 2 to 3 weeks after the day the Notice of Assessment is issued.
So what’s the difference if you use an Accountant?
Well most people will be granted an extension all the way to 15 May of the following year (so to confirm, that is almost an entire 11 months after the tax year ended).
The time frames for the issuing of your Notice of Assessment is quoted as being the same, being 2 weeks from the date of lodgement, though in practice the chances of a hiccup are greatly reduced, and actual turnaround time at the ATO tends to be faster based on anecdotal evidence.
There are also some earlier due dates for individuals with large incomes and / or large tax bills, but they are still all well after 31 October which would apply if they attempted their returns themselves. The primary one being 31 March, so if you usually pay a lot of tax at tax time, this probably applies to you.
The due date for payment (if you have to make one) depends on when you lodged.
The earliest payment could be due when lodging through an accountant is as follows –
- If you lodged prior to or on the 12th of February, payment is due by 21 March.
- If you lodged between 13 February to 12 March inclusive, payment is due 21 April.
- If you lodged on 13 March or thereafter, payment is due on 5 June!
As suggested, these are the earliest possible payment due dates, actual due dates will be shown on your Notice of Assessment and could be later. For example with 2014 income tax returns lodged on 15 May, payment wasn’t due until 19 June!!
Now you might ask, why would anyone lodge early if they have to pay early. Good question.
Well aside from the incentive to just get it out of the way which is relevant to lots of people. Many also have other entities which are due earlier, so it just makes sense to get it all done at the same time.
Even if neither of those incentives convince you to lodge earlier than absolutely necessary, I am afraid I have a little bad news. It simply isn’t possible for an accountant to keep all of their client’s returns back until the last minute. Nor are they actually allowed to hold off lodgement for all their returns until the last day.
Accountants are obligated to lodge consistently throughout the year. So while they may be able to accommodate some clients here and there with allowing things to drift, they do need some clients to work with them and allow some lodgements to occur regularly throughout the year to avoid intervention from the ATO.
Also, on the topic of 5 June, even though your return may be due 15 May, if you lodge by 5 June, AND you pay any tax you owe by that date (regardless of whether a notice of assessment has been sent to you or not) then the ATO will consider your return lodged on time, even though it wasn’t!
As mentioned, if you have a business utilising other entities, as is usually the case, or you have investment entities, we have further videos covering when those returns are due.
We also have a video discussing what happens when you have outstanding prior year returns.
So check them out …
Bye for now!