The new financial year brings with it significant changes to the tax system. With such a multitude of perplexing figures and overwhelming paper work, it is understandable how tax time can become very confusing and stressful for tax payers. Generally speaking, anyone who earns over the tax free threshold during the course of a financial year, 1 July – 30 June, is required to submit an individual tax return to the Australian Tax Office.

Personal Income Tax Returns address all significant financial transactions by the taxpayer for the year. So this includes not only income from employment and wages but also regular income from investments and rental properties as well as one-off payments as a result of the sale of assets. Additionally, any losses incurred during the period also affect the net amount of taxable income and hence the total amount of tax payable by the taxpayer.

The deadline for lodging your tax return with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is 31 October 2013. You can lodge after the deadline with a registered tax agent, but you have to remember to register as a client with that tax agent before 31 October in order to lodge after the deadline. Make sure to contact us before 31 October to qualify for their later lodgment date.

Useful tips:

•  Your tax return covers the financial year, not the calendar year

•  The financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June, and then you have from 1 July to 31 October to lodge your return.

•  You can lodge your tax returns before the end of the year, but only if you definitely know your income and are leaving Australia permanently

•  Do not lodge an incomplete tax return, as your tax return is only considered lodged on the date that the ATO gets your completed form

If your return is prepared and lodged by a registered tax agent the deadline is significantly extended. It is important to diligently submit your tax return in order to avoid incurring penalties and increasing the possibility of being audited – we can help you with this.

What do I need?

•  Payment summaries – You’ll need a payment summary from each employer or payer you received income from during the financial year. Payment summaries show how much income you received and how much tax was withheld.

•  Financial documents or records – You will need your financial documents or records to work out the amounts to enter at each item of your tax return. If you use a tax agent, or get help from a Tax Help volunteer, you will still need all your records for them to work from.

•  Tax file number – You need your tax file number to lodge a tax return. If you don’t have a tax file number, you need to apply for one.

•  Electronic funds transfer (EFT) details – If you lodge your return electronically and expect a refund, you will need to provide Australian bank account details.

What do I lodge?

•  For all Australian residents with a global business reach, when tax returns are lodged you are required to report your worldwide income to the ATO.

•  A foreign resident needs only to lodge a tax return if their income is taxable in Australia. This does not include income from which non-resident withholding tax has been deducted.

What if you don’t lodge?

If you need to lodge a tax return but don’t, you may have to pay a failure to lodge on time penalty.

Here at The Quinn Group, our team of experienced Tax Agents and Tax Accountants can help assist you with lodging your tax return or all other tax and ATO related issues. For more information, or a FREE Tax Record Kit, please submit an online enquiry, or call us on 1300 QUINNS (784 667).