What is a tax return?

A tax return is a form that you complete and lodge once a year to tell us:

  • how much money you earned (from your job or from Centrelink, or from other sources such as interest on bank accounts)
  • how much tax has been withheld from your pay by your employer.

The tax return covers the period 1 July to 30 June each year. This is known as the financial year or tax year.

You must lodge a tax return if:

  • you paid tax during the financial year, or
  • your taxable income (including Centrelink allowances or payments) was more than the tax-free threshold.

If you’ve paid too much tax, and are entitled to a refund, lodging a tax return is the way to get this money back. Not everyone needs to lodge a tax return, but if you do, you need to lodge it on time.


When to lodge your tax return

If you are preparing and lodging your own tax return, you must lodge it by 31 October. If you are using a registered tax agent for the first time or a different one to last year, you must contact them by 31 October.


Payment summaries

Every employer you work for must provide you with a payment summary:

  • by 14 July each year, or
  • when you stop working for them.

You will need this information from the payment summary to help you complete your tax return.

Make sure you receive all your payment summaries by providing all your employers with your postal or email address.


From ATO website