min read
· Posted on
February 21, 2024

31st October: Tax deadline is ticking closer

The ATO's deadline to lodge your tax return is looming, here's what you've got to know!

What's the key learning?

  • Your tax return is due on 31st October if you're lodging it yourself.
  • Your tax return is the form you lodge with the ATO after June 30 each year to declare your taxable income and deductions.
  • You can lodge your tax return online via MyGov.

Has your tax return been sitting in the “I’ll get to it later” pile since July?

We’ve all been there!

But with the tax deadline of 31st October looming, it’s time to crunch those numbers.

Because if you miss the date, it’ll be a bigger nightmare than watching Bridgerton with your parents. 👀

The ATO applies one penalty unit every 28 days that your tax is overdue, up to a maximum of 5 penalties.

That means for every 28 days your tax return isn’t lodged after 31st October, the ATO imposes a fine of $313, up to a maximum of $1,565. 

…and just personally, we don’t think it’s worth giving charity to the Australian Tax Office - there are plenty of other charities out there!.

Remind me again - what’s a tax return?

Your tax return is the form you lodge with the ATO after June 30 each year, that’s the end of the financial year.

Quick reminder: Australia has a ‘self-assessment’ tax system.

That means you’re responsible for reporting your taxable income and deductions you’re claiming to the ATO each year.

And the ATO uses your tax return to work out whether you’ve paid too much (or too little) tax.

What happens if I don’t lodge my tax return in time?

If you’re entitled to a tax refund, the ATO won’t impose any penalties (but you won’t know that until you complete your return).

But if you owe the ATO some extra tax, and you’re doing your tax return yourself, the ATO can impose penalties for late lodgements.

Yikes! Ya definitely don’t want the ATO coming after you for late payment.

But if you’re using a registered tax agent to complete your tax return, you’ve actually got until 15th May 2024 as your deadline.

Engaging a registered tax agent can be a good idea if you need help lodging your tax return, or you’re likely to have a complicated tax return.

Plus, you can claim the cost of engaging an agent as a tax deduction - buuut you’ve gotta make sure you’re on the tax agents books by 31st October.

How do I lodge my tax return?

If your tax is pretty straightforward and you’re lodging it yourself, you can lodge your tax online via the myGov portal.
Most of your information will be pre-filled, all you need to do is double check it’s all correct.

If you’ve earned any additional income in the previous financial year that’s add any additional income that might not be included. 

Think dividend income, interest income, rental income, or any income from additional jobs or gigs.

And don’t forget to claim any deductions you’re entitled to. Your deductions will reduce your taxable income.

You can claim deductions like:

  • Work-related expenses
  • Charitable donations
  • The cost of managing your tax

If you need a refresher on how to prep your tax return, and make the most of your deductions we’ve got you covered in the Maximising Your Tax Refund Academy.

Hot tip: The ATO has a hitlist of common mistakes they see on tax returns that they crack down on each year. In 2023, the ATO has three key things on their mind:

  1. Work from home expenses
  2. Rental property deductions
  3. Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

Made a nifty claim for this financial year - share it with the Flux fam in the comments below!

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