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Do you need to lodge a tax return? If you earn a salary you probably do. You must declare all your income but you you might also be entitled to get some money back. Find out all you need to know about how, when and why.
Virginia Padovese

19 Jun 2017 - 11:56 AM  UPDATED 27 Jun 2017 - 1:33 PM

If you earn a salary in Australia you'll need to lodge a tax return. Your employers deduct taxes every time they pay you, but you still have to lodge your tax return for two reasons.

  1. You may have additional income (for example bank interests, shares, rent and other payments that are made to you)
  2. You can claim back some expenses that are related to your work

In some cases you may have to pay more taxes, in other cases you can get some money back.

Tax returns cover the financial year, which starts on July 1 and ends on 30 June the following year, and if you are lodging your own it is due by 31 October. The easiest and fastest way to lodge your own return is online using myTax. You need a myGov account linked to the ATO to lodge online.

You can lodge your tax return with myTax HERE. 

Do you need to lodge a tax return?

Most people need to lodge a tax return each year. Work out if you need to lodge it for 2017 using the ATO calculator HERE. If the answer is yes, you can lodge it online but remember that to do it online you will need a myGov account linked to the ATO.

Lodging your first tax return

If this is the first time you are lodging a tax return, here you can find some useful tips.

If you need help with English, you can phone the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50.

  • Do you need to lodge a tax return?

If you had tax taken from any income you received during the financial year, you need to lodge a tax return unless you fall within certain exceptions.

If you are unsure whether you need to lodge, you can check your situation here.

  • How to lodge a tax return

The easiest and fastest way to lodge your tax return is online.

Get started by answering a few questions about your income and deductions for the 2016–17 year using the online pre-lodgement questionnaire that will be available from the end of the financial year. Based on your answers you will get the right online lodgement product for you – myTax (for people with simpler tax affairs) or e-tax (if your tax affairs are more complex).

As a first time lodger, there are a few steps you need to follow

1. You will need to have your tax file number (TFN) handy and one of the following documents: your birth certificate, passport or citizenship certificate.

2. Create a myGov account.

3. Call 13 28 61 and press 5 at the prompt to get your unique linking code to verify your account. Each unique code will expire after 24 hours.

4. Sign in to myGov, go to the Services page and link to the ATO. Select ‘I have a linking code’ and follow the instructions as prompted.

5. You are now ready to use ATO online services and start your tax return using myTax.

Other ways to lodge your tax return

When are tax returns due?

If you are preparing and lodging your own tax return, you have from 1 July to 31 October to lodge it.

Need help?

There is a free service called Tax Help that can help you prepare and lodge your tax return.

See also

Prior year returns

If you still need to lodge a tax return for a previous year, it is important to get up to date as soon as possible to reduce the risk of a penalty. You have three options:

  • Lodge a paper tax return (you can order a paper copy of tax return forms and instructions for previous years online or calling 1300 720 092).
  • Lodge online

If you are having difficulties meeting your tax obligations you can contact the Australian Taxation Office.