Australia’s financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June, the tax season runs from 1 July to 31 October.
The time period covered by Australia’s tax returns does not correspond to a regular calendar year. Instead the returns cover a separate financial year that runs from 1 July to 30 June of the following year.
With that said, tax season runs from 1 July to 31 October. This year, for example, you must lodge by 31 October, 2014.
Don’t wait until the 31 October deadline to lodge your 2014 tax return! Instead, it’s best to get it out of the way as soon as possible.
What if I lodge after the deadline date?
If you fail to lodge your return by the end of tax season on 31 October, you may have to pay a penalty.
The ATO is pretty generous, however, and usually doesn’t apply a penalty if you
- lodge the return voluntarily, and
- do not owe any tax payable
You probably will have to pay a penalty if
- you have more than one tax return outstanding
- you have a poor lodgment history, or
- you have not complied with a request to lodge your tax return
If you’re due a refund, there’s no reason not to file. After all, it’s your money you’re getting back.
If you owe the ATO, don’t think you can escape them by not lodging a return. The ATO could issue you a default assessment warning letter (DAWL). If you don’t lodge, the ATO will estimate your tax liability, often for more than you actually owe because they don’t know all of the allowances and deductions you could be eligible for.
It is possible to lodge a return before the end of the financial year, but only in two very limited circumstances.
1) You are a foreign resident for tax purposes (an Australian nonresident) and you
- are leaving Australia permanently, and
- will no longer derive Australian-sourced income other than interest, dividends, and royalties
2) You are an Australian resident for tax purposes and you
- are leaving Australia
- will cease to be an Australian resident for tax purposes, and
- will no longer derive Australian-sourced income other than interest, dividends, and royalties.
All of these Australian tax year dates may sound confusing, but if you use an online tax preparer like E-Lodge, it will all be taken care of.
In fact, with E-Lodge you can complete your 2014 return in as little as 10 minutes! Why put it off? Get it done with already.
It’s Easier With E-Lodge™
Photo via AlicePopkorn on Flickr.