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Tax 2024: All the dates you need to know to avoid $1,650 fine

If you fail to lodge your tax return on time, you could be fined up to $1,650.

Tax time is just around the corner and that means there are a number of important deadlines you need to be aware of. Particularly if you want to avoid being stung with extra charges.

Failing to lodge your tax return by the due date can see you cop a fine of up to $1,650. And if you’re late paying a bill to the ATO, you’ll also cop extra interest charges.

Here’s the key dates you need to know.

Tax time fast approaching and you need to be aware of some key deadlines if you want to avoid a fine. (Source: Getty)

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The new financial year starts on July 1, which means you can technically lodge your tax return for the 2023-24 financial year from then.


But the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) actually recommends people wait until the end of July to lodge their returns. That’s because information from your employer, banks, government bodies, insurers and more will be automatically pre-filled by the end of the month.

If you lodge too early, this could actually hold up your tax refund and the ATO says you’re more likely to make mistakes.

Wait until your statement is marked “tax ready” in myTax, otherwise you may end up needing to make amendments later on.


The deadline to lodge your tax return depends on whether you are filing it yourself or using a registered tax agent.

If you are lodging it yourself with the ATO, the deadline is October 31.

If you are using a tax agent, the deadline to register with one is October 31 and they may have up until May 15, 2025 to lodge your return.

You can still lodge your tax return after the deadline, but you may be hit with a fine from the ATO.

This fine is currently $313 but it is set to increase to $330. It then increases every 28 days that your return is overdue. This is capped, but with the new penalty price it can be as much as $1,650 if you are really late.

Most online tax returns will be processed within two weeks, but it can take up to 30 days if the ATO ends up needing to manually process it. Paper returns can take up to 10 weeks to process.

If you make a mistake and set off a red flag with the ATO, it may take longer while your documents are manually checked.

Once your return has been processed, you’ll get a notice of assessment letting you know if you are getting a refund or have a tax debt to pay.

You can check the process of your tax return online, through the ATO app, by phone or with your tax agent.

If you lodged your own tax return and got a bill from the ATO, the deadline for payment is November 21 even if you lodge late. After that date, the ATO will start charging interest on any overdue amount.

The due dates are later if you use a tax agent and will depend on when your tax return was lodged. For example, if your tax agent lodges before February 12, you have until March 21, 2025.

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