Here’s how much your tax return estimate is based on your income

Not sure how much you can spend at the end of financial year sales? Check out how much you'll get back from your tax return 16/17 in the table below.

A tax return is a payment made to you from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). You receive a tax return when you pay more tax than you should have throughout the financial year. At the end of the financial year, the ATO calculates exactly how much you owe and how much you've paid. If you've paid even \$1 more than you should have, the ATO will send this money back to you through a cheque or bank deposit.

But how do you know how much you'll get back? The end of financial year is one of the biggest sale periods of the year with just about everything available at a bargain price. By knowing how much you'll get back in tax you can make sure that you don't overspend during this massive sale period.
See the full list of end of financial year sales
We've put together an easy reference tax return table by income. These figures are based on tax return estimates from the previous financial year, so they should give you a fair indication of roughly what your return is likely to be this year.

Income \$ Tax paid \$ Tax return \$
35,000 3,852 1,105
40,000 5,352 1,205
45,000 7,068 1,221
50,000 8,784 1,237
55,000 10,560 1,313
60,000 12,276 1,329
65,000 14,040 1,393
70,000 15,756 1,459
75,000 17,472 1,550
80,000 19,188 1,641
85,000 20,904 1,507
90,000 22,776 1,529
95,000 24,756 709
100,000 26,676 729

Figures have been calculated using the 2015-16 income tax estimator and the PAYG withholding monthly tax table. This data is based on a person who was paid monthly, was an Australian resident for the full year, has a tax file number, has no HECS debt, has no private health insurance and has no deductions. Changing any of these details will result in a different tax return estimate.

So how do tax returns work?

There is a set amount of tax that everyone needs to pay based on what they earn. Many employers use the PAYG method (pay as you go) to calculate your tax. The tax office suggests a monthly amount (based on your income bracket) that your company should take out of your earnings and send straight to the tax office. It's a pretty good system. Paying your tax as you go means that you don't get hit with a \$10,000 bill when June comes around.

But, the suggested monthly amount that your employer deducts is often too much, so many people end up paying more tax than required. This means that the tax office pays the extra cash back to you once you lodge your tax return details.

When is your tax return due?

You have from the end of the financial year (30 June) until 31 October to lodge your tax return. Some companies are given later deadlines and you can apply for a lodgement extension if you need to. As a general rule, though, all tax returns should be filed by 31 October.

When will your tax return be paid?

For individuals, your tax return should be paid to you within two weeks of filing your report, provided there are no issues. Many people find that their tax return payment appears very quickly in their bank account, sometimes after only a few days.

How do you do your tax return online?

Doing your tax return online is an easy process with the ATO's MyTax tool. Log in to MyGov here and you'll be directed to MyTax, which helps you to lodge your tax return by prefilling all your information such as your tax file number, your earnings including bank interest and your HECS debt (if applicable).

Don't worry if you have deductions, overseas income, dependents or other things that could complicate your tax return. MyTax will ask you to fill in this information as you lodge your return.

When should you consider an accountant to do your tax return?

Having an account do your tax is a good idea if your tax return is complicated. If you work in a job where you believe there are lots of deductions you can claim (such as freelance work), an accountant will make sure that these are all done correctly and within the law. If part of your income comes from investments such as shares or an investment property, an accountant can help you lodge this information correctly.

Attempting to lodge a complicated tax return by yourself might result in you receiving an incorrect return amount, so err on the side of caution and consult a professional. Plus the accountant's fees are tax deductible in the next financial year.

DISCLAIMER: This article is general advice. It does not consider your own personal circumstances and may not be applicable to you. You should obtain professional advice and consider your own situation before acting on anything contained in our article.