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So you missed the ATO tax deadline: Here’s what happens next

·2-min read
View of woman completing Australian tax form
The tax deadline was Monday 1 November. (Source: Getty)

The 2021 tax deadline has come and gone, with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) now urging late lodgers to file and pick up their refunds.

The tax deadline was Monday, 1 November, but overdue returns can still be lodged through the ATO’s myTax service, a spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

“The ATO understands that tax might have been the last thing on people’s minds these last few months,” the spokesperson said.

“[However] four out of five people actually receive a refund so delaying lodging can mean leaving cash on the table.”

Taxpayers received an average refund of $2,490 in the latest tax season, with most choosing to funnel it into savings (35 per cent) or cover their mortgage or household bills (19 per cent), according to Finder research.

“Overdue returns can still be lodged through our myTax service, which can typically be done and dusted in under 30 minutes,” the spokesperson said.

“If you’re lodging with a registered tax agent and not already on the books, you should get in touch with them as soon as possible.

$1,110 fines for late lodgers

Taxpayers may also face fines if they file significantly late.

The ATO can apply a failure to lodge (FTL) penalty to people who don’t lodge on time, although it generally won’t penalise people for one-off late lodging, or if they’re owed a refund.

The ATO will also warn late lodgers by phone or in writing if they’ve failed to lodge, before sending the penalty notice with the fine amount and payment date.

As it stands, the ATO charges one $222 penalty unit for every 28 days past the lodgment deadline with fines reaching up to $1,110.

People can also ask for the fine to be remitted if there was an extenuating circumstance.

“If you’re feeling overwhelmed or getting behind on your tax, we encourage you to contact your registered tax agent or the ATO as early as possible so we can work with you to find a solution,” the spokesperson said.

“No matter what the situation, it’s never too late to ask for help.”

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