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Tax time 2018: Do I need to lodge a return?

Started July by
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Not sure if you even need to lodge a tax return? While most people will need to lodge, certain groups of people won’t. Read the article below to find out what you’ll need to do this tax time.


Like most countries, Australia runs on a self-assessment system. Our income tax year runs from 1 July until 30 June the following year, and most Australians will need to complete an income tax return and submit it to the Australian Taxation Office between 1 July and 31 October.

Under our current tax system, most Australian residents can earn up to $18,200 a year tax-free. If you receive salary and wages or other Australian government payments, your payer will take this tax-free threshold into consideration when they withhold tax from your payments. However, if you earn less than $18,200 in an income year and haven’t had any tax withheld from your pay, or if you meet certain conditions, you may not need to complete a tax return.

 If you received an Australian Government payment, allowance or pension, you may not need to lodge a tax return if your total annual income is below a certain amount. You may also not need to lodge if you were not a resident for tax purposes and did not earn any Australian income.

 Our online “Do I need to lodge a tax return?” tool will ask a series of simple questions to help you work out what your tax return requirements are this financial year. You’ll need to know how much income you’ve received, and if any tax has been withheld from any payments. You can also print the results from the tool for your records.

 If the tool indicates you don’t need to lodge a return, let us know by sending us a non-lodgment advice. The fastest way to do this is using myGov:

  • Log in to our online services
  • Select the ‘Tax’ tab at the top of the screen,
  • Roll your mouse over ‘Lodgments’ and pick ‘Non-lodgment advice’ from the right hand pop-up menu.

Pick the year you don’t need to lodge and complete the instructions on the screen.

 You may also be able to claim a refund of franking credits or declare your worldwide income to establish your compulsory Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) or Trade Support Loan (TSL) repayment online.

If you’re confident you won’t need to lodge tax returns in the future (for example, as an Australian aged pensioner) you can tick the box on your advice form to let us know.

Once we’ve received your non-lodgment advice, we’ll update our records so we don’t send you any follow up reminders to lodge a tax return.

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