The tax season is upon us, which means it's time to whip out your receipts and calculator or make an appointment with your tax agent.
While tax time may feel like a bit of a drag, the average Aussie will get around $2,600 back, making the task a little easier to get through.
Failing to lodge your tax return on time could see you cop a $1,110 fine so, it’s important not to miss the cut-off date.
Also read: 15% or 45%: How much tax will you pay?
Here’s a look at all the important dates to circle in your calendar.
When to file your tax return
Officially, the new financial year starts on July 1, 2022, which is technically the first day you can lodge your tax return.
However, it’s not necessarily the best time to do it.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned Aussies against lodging their return too early.
Lodging on the first day of the new financial year can actually slow down your tax refund while the ATO waits for your employer to provide everything they are required to.
Your employer has until July 31 to provide the ATO with your year-to-date salary, super contributions and PAYG details.
When you log into your MyGov account, your statement will be marked as “tax ready” once this information has been received.
The same goes for information from government agencies like Centrelink, health funds and banks: they have until July 31 to update the ATO.
So, the best option is to wait until your statement is “tax ready”, or until July 31 if you don’t want to be checking your account every day.
When you will get your tax return
It can take anywhere between a few days to 10 weeks to get your tax return.
If you file your return online it can take up to two weeks, but filing a paper return can take up to 10 weeks.
If you have made a mistake or set off a red flag with the ATO, you’ll be looking at a longer wait while your documents are manually checked.
Once your return has been processed by the ATO, you’ll get a notice of assessment letting you know if you need to pay extra tax or are entitled to a refund.
Deadline for filing your return
This will depend on whether you are lodging yourself or using a professional.
If you are lodging yourself, you have until October 31 to lodge your return.
If you are using a tax agent, you will need to register with one before October 31 and they will have until May 15, 2023 to lodge your return.
What happens if you miss the deadline?
If you have missed the tax deadline you can be hit with fines, which increase every 28 days it is late.
For the first 28 days that you’re late, the fine is $222, but if you’re really late, that can increase to $1,110.
However, if you’re owed money by the ATO or generally have a good tax history, you can often get the fine withdrawn.
The same goes for if you were unable to lodge due to a natural disaster or an illness.
Deadline to pay ATO if you owe money
If you owe money to the ATO, you need to pay by November 21, regardless of whether you filed on time.
After that date, the ATO will start charging interest on the due amount.