Tax Returns in Australia

By H&R Block 7 min read

Your tax return is YOUR responsibility. If you generate income in Australia, you need to have a tax file number (TFN) and pay tax on the money you earn. The amount of money you need to pay in taxes for a specific year is calculated through your annual tax return.

Your employer pays your income tax throughout the financial year, which runs from July 1 until June 30. If you're self-employed, you may need to make payments of income tax on account during the year.

At the end of each financial year, you need to file a tax return.

Your tax return will calculate the exact amount of tax you should have paid for that year (taking into account various deductions, offsets and rebates). If the amount already paid is incorrect, you will be issued with either a bill for additional tax that needs to be paid or a tax refund.

For information on ways to lodge your tax return with H&R Block, see our Tax Returns page.

Requirements to lodge a tax return

What is a tax file number and how do you apply?

The Australian Tax Office assigns a unique tax file number to every person who works or receives benefits in Australia. To apply for a tax file number (or to find out your number) you need to contact the Australian Taxation Office.

What you need to know about your tax file number.

Each person receives an individual tax file number and this number is valid for life. You should never allow anyone else use your tax file number for any reason, and you should only ever supply your tax file number to the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, your bank, your employer (after you start a new job), your super fund and your registered tax agent.

What else do I need to know to lodge a tax return?

Before lodging your tax return, you should first make sure you have all of the necessary documents to show all of your income and expenses for the relevant year. Use this handy Income Tax Checklist to confirm you have everything you need to get started. You should also have your bank account details ready (including the BSB and account number), in case you are eligible to receive a tax refund.

How and when should I lodge my tax return?

You can complete your tax return yourself either online or on paper from July 1 until the tax return deadline of October 31 each year. If you choose to work with a registered tax agent like H&R Block to complete your tax return and ensure the maximum possible tax refund, you will usually be able to lodge after later than October 31 (your extended tax return deadline will depend on personal circumstances).


How do I know if I need to file a tax return?

Most people need to file a tax return each year. Some people, such as those whose total income is less than the tax-free amount ($18,200) don't need to lodge a return.  Check the conditions here and see if they apply to you. If you have any doubts, we advise speaking to a tax professional to confirm if you are required to file a tax return.

How do I calculate my tax return?

For a quick tax return estimate, you can use this tax calculator. For a precise calculation of your expected tax refund you need to complete your tax return either online or through a registered tax agent like H&R Block.

How do I lodge a tax return online?

The quickest and easiest way to complete your tax return online is to use our Online Tax Express Return service. With fees starting as low as $19, and our guarantee every tax return is validated by an H&R Block expert tax agent, it's the best way to submit your tax return online with total peace of mind.

When is the deadline to lodge my tax return?

The tax return deadline is October 31 each year. If you choose to engage a registered tax agent like H&R Block to complete your tax return, you will be eligible for an extended tax return deadline.

What do I do if I'm late lodging my tax return, or have not yet lodged a tax return for the previous year?

The first thing you should do if you miss the tax return deadline is to contact H&R Block and speak to one of our professional tax agents. On your behalf, we will contact the Australian Tax Office and find out the exact details of your lodgement status. Once we have clarified the situation and whether there is a penalty owing, we will advise you on moving forward and help you to complete the lodgement of any outstanding tax returns to get you up to date. You can find out more about this process here.

Why lodge your tax return with H&R Block?

Because we specialise in making tax simple! With over 40 years as Australia's leading taxation experts, we're passionate about achieving great results and getting you the maximum possible tax refund every time.

Whether you use our Online Tax Express Return Service or choose to work directly with one of our expert tax agents for an in office tax return, we guarantee you will be looked after by our tax professionals. We double-check every tax claim and tax return for total accuracy, and will make sure we find every offset and deduction to which you're entitled.

Book an online appointment today

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