Tax deadline: Days left until Aussies risk $1,110 fine

·3-min read
Australian $50 notes, crowded Australian street full of pedestrians.
The tax return deadline is around the corner. This is what you need to know. (Images: Getty).

Australian taxpayers have one week left to complete their tax return or register with a tax agent, before they’ve officially missed the tax deadline.

The tax return deadline this year falls on Monday 1 November, as the traditional 31 October date falls on a Sunday.

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“If you’re planning to DIY your tax but haven’t got around to it yet, don’t worry. For people with simple tax affairs, lodging through our myTax service can be done and dusted in under 30 minutes,” ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh said on Monday.

“Most of your income and personal details will already be there; simply confirm it’s correct, add any additional income and claim your eligible deductions.”

WATCH: Working from home costs you can claim on tax.

People lodging with tax agents will have the same information pre-filled, and generally have until May to submit their return, provided they’re on their agent’s books by 1 November.

So far this tax time, over $20 billion has been refunded to more than 7.2 million taxpayers.

The ATO has so far refunded 7.2 million taxpayers more than $20 million, but mistakes like incorrect bank details, forgetting to declare income or claiming ineligible expenses will delay refunds.

“Four out of five people receive a refund with most refunds issued in less than two weeks. This process can’t be sped up, even if you call us,” Loh said.

“If you want to keep an eye on how your return is progressing, you can do this by logging into the ATO app or via myGov.”

Once DIY taxpayers have filed their tax return, they should receive an SMS when the ATO is close to finalising the refund. This text should include an estimate for when they should receive a refund.

What happens if I miss the ATO tax deadline?

Failure to submit a tax return or register with a tax agent by 1 November date means taxpayers run the risk of fines of between $222 and $1,110.

However, the ATO is unlikely to charge a fine to people receiving tax refunds or those who don’t normally submit late.

“If you are unable to lodge on time, we encourage you to contact us or speak with a registered tax agent as soon as possible,” Loh said.

“If you’re delaying lodgment due to an expected bill you can't pay right away, we encourage you to lodge this week.”

That’s because the ATO wants to see that taxpayers will aim to meet their tax obligations, even if they can’t cover the tax bill immediately.

“We can work with you to tailor a payment plan to your circumstances. In most cases, taxpayers can easily set up their own payment plan online depending on how much they owe.”

How much will I get back in my tax refund this year?

The average tax refund in 2021 has been $2,490.

However, this will depend on how much tax a taxpayer has paid over the course of the financial year and their individual circumstances.

People earning up to $126,000 will receive the low- and middle-income tax offset automatically. This provides an offset of between $255 and $1,080, depending on the person’s income.

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