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ATO warning: 1 week left to avoid $222 fine

Australian ATO tax return forms and a man holding Aussie $50 notes
The ATO has reminded Aussies the tax deadline is fast approaching. (Source: Getty)

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) wants Aussies who haven’t yet lodged their return to get to it, with the deadline fast approaching.

Aussies have until October 31 to lodge their tax return for the 2021/22 financial year, or risk getting hit with a $222 fine.

ATO figures show that, at the end of September, more than 8.3 million taxpayers had lodged their 2022 tax return.

Last year, more than 9.6 million had lodged their 2021 tax return by October 31.

ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh said there were a number of lodgment options available.

“People with simple tax affairs can lodge through our free myTax service in under 30 minutes,” Loh said.

“Most of the information you need will already be there; just check it's correct, add any additional income, and claim deductions you're eligible for."

Loh reminded Aussies there were a range of helpful calculators available through the ATO website to help taxpayers get their returns right.

“These are designed to guide you on a range of topics, from whether you need to lodge a tax return, to working out which deductions and expenses specific occupations and industries can claim,” he said.

For those with more complicated tax affairs, you can get an extension on your deadline by registering with a professional tax agent.

“If you’re using a registered tax agent for the first time, or using a different registered tax agent to last year, you need to engage with the registered tax agent by 31 October,” Loh said.

What happens if I miss the tax deadline?

Failure-to-lodge penalties range from $222 for individuals and small businesses and up to $11,000 for large businesses.

The $222 penalty can actually increase every 28 days, up to five times, until the return is lodged.

This means the fine could grow to $1,110 over five months.

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