How to Lodge Late or Previous Year Tax Returns

By H&R Block 4 min read

Deadlines to lodge tax returns currently stand at 31 October for self-lodging individuals and 15 May for some people who use an accountant to submit their return.

Most people need to lodge an income tax return every year, however some may have fallen behind because they were busy, overseas or too daunted by the process.

Having outstanding tax returns that are overdue can lead to penalties from the ATO. Regardless of why you have lodged late or didn't lodge in the first place, getting up to date and lodging a late tax return can give you peace of mind.

What are the penalties for not lodging my tax return?

There may be a "failure to lodge on time" penalty. The standard penalty is $313 for every 28 day period.

If you continue to fail to lodge, the ATO may issue a formal default assessment warning letter. This will contain an estimate of your income for the missing year which the ATO may then use to issue you with a default assessment. The figures estimated by the ATO will almost certainly be higher than your true position – for a start, they won't include most deductions you're entitled to. As a last resort, the ATO can even prosecute you for not lodging.

Will the ATO waive penalties?

Sometimes, the ATO will waive penalties. As a general rule of thumb, the ATO is more likely to apply a penalty if:

  • you have more then one return outstanding
  • you have a poor lodgement history
  • you are non-compliant with other tax matters

Can I still submit a late return?

The first step to lodging a late return is to visit H&R Block tax accountants.  

With your consent, H&R Block can help by checking your lodgement status with the ATO. They can ascertain which years are outstanding and what exactly needs to be reported.

H&R Block will work with you to determine what your income was for the year in question. Sometimes, this is available straight from the ATO from employers and others who report this information each year.

H&R Block will also work out which deductions you're entitled to

As always, the more information you can provide the easier everything will be. Bring in receipts, bank statements and income information you can find at home or work - the more, the better. If you can't find receipts for some deductions don't worry. If you're claiming deductions which total less than $300, you don't need receipts to claim.

How do I lodge a late return?

H&R Block can help you with outstanding tax returns. Booking an appointment and visiting your local H&R Block office is the best way to get your taxes in order, quickly and without stress.

If for some reason you might not have been required to lodge a return, H&R Block can submit a non-lodgement advice form to the ATO so they know you're up to date with everything.

Once you are up to date with your tax returns, H&R Block can help you stay on top of your taxes. We can supply record cards and logbooks, as well as reminding you next time your return is due.

Find your nearest office and book an appointment.


Book an appointment online today

Related Articles

A guide for American expats working and living in Australia. Includes what US expats need to know...
10 min read
If you earn more than the tax-free threshold of $18,200, you 're required to lodge a tax return. ...
7 min read
Learn more about fulfilling your tax obligations in Australia. Get to know the requirements, tax ...
7 min read
H&R Block can help you get everything in order to make lodging your tax return as smooth a pr...
6 min read