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Australian Tax Return Deadline

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Lodging a tax return every year is compulsory for most people earning money in Australia – and it doesn’t need to be a stressful experience. By being responsible and staying on top of the tax return deadlines, you can make your annual tax experience an easy and straightforward experience.

The key date you need to know is: October 31.

October 31 is the tax return due date if you’re lodging your tax return yourself for the previous financial year (July 1 – June 30). You can lodge your tax return through H&R Block’s Online Tax Express Return, which is quick and easy to use, and gives you the security of having your tax return double-checked by one of our professional tax agents before it is lodged.

If you use a tax agent or accountant to complete your tax return, you’ll be eligible for an extended tax return deadline. This deadline can vary depending on circumstances, but can be as late as May 15.

It’s important to note that if you want to use an accountant and take advantage of this extension, you need to sign up with the tax accountant prior to October 31. And you’re generally not eligible for an extended tax return due date if you have outstanding tax returns that have not been lodged from previous years.

If you’re a business owner, there are various other tax deadlines that you should know about. Check them out here.


Maybe you were overseas or have been unwell? Maybe you lodged your tax return but it didn’t arrive at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for some reason? Or maybe you just simply forgot about it? There many reasons why you might have missed the tax return due date this year.

In theory that means you may be liable to a late lodgement penalty. This amounts to $180 for the first 28 days after the lodgement date and increases by a further $180 after each subsequent 28-day period, up to a maximum of $900. Go beyond that and even more unpleasant consequences – including prosecution in extreme circumstances – can apply.

The important thing is to deal with it as soon as possible by contacting the ATO.

If you have any documentation to support your reason for lodging a late tax return (such as a doctor’s certificate) then it would be good to have these on hand, as they may help to minimise your outstanding penalties. Then you just need to get your tax return completed and lodged as soon as possible to avoid further penalties.

Unfortunately, if you have a return outstanding from an earlier year, you can’t take advantage of the extended tax agent deadlines for your next return, even if you use a tax agent. So it definitely pays to get any prior year returns done asap. Don’t worry if you’re missing information about your income and/or deductions for those earlier years. Your tax agent will typically be able to help by drawing on information already held by the ATO and advising you on what deductions you can claim. 


But don’t worry, you don’t have to do it alone! Our amazing expert tax consultants here at H&R Block are experienced and understanding – and we’re ready to help you get you tax return sorted out quickly (with the maximum possible tax refund).

At H&R Block, we firmly believe the end of the financial year shouldn’t be something you dread, but rather a chance to get organised and get ahead for the new year. Let us show you how. Contact us now.

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