How to Lodge Late or Previous Year Tax Returns

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 $222 for every 28 day period or part thereof that the return is outstanding. This happens until the penalty reaches a maximum of $1,110.

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.


Tax Return Online Tax How-to
Share with your friends

Book an online appointment today

Our H&R Block accountants are now working online. Book an appointment with an expert.

Related Articles

Tax Refund Process

Let H&R Block help you with your tax refund. H&R Block is Australia's...
3 min read

Tips to Paying Less Tax

To help you come out on top, we’ve put together five tips to help you pay l...
5 min read

How to Lodge a Tax Return?

Want to know how to lodge your tax return? Look no further. Here's everything...
8 min read

Tax Return Amendments

Need help amending your tax return? H&R Block can help. For more info, fi...
3 min read