Your Guide to Lodging Your Tax Return Online

Untitled designLodging your personal income tax return online is quick and easy.

Your tax return covers the financial year, which starts from 1 July to 30 June of each year. If you intend to lodge a tax return, it needs to be done so by 31 October. The Australian Government provides a service called "MyTax" which is probably the easiest way if you're submitting a straightforward return.

The MyTax system caters to those who intend to complete their own income tax return, including sole traders. However, if you own a range of investments and intend to utilise deductions, you may want to consider the services of a registered tax agent in Australia.

Their expertise knowledge can help you maximise your deductions and get the best possible tax return for your situation.

Choosing a tax agent

Rates last updated November 21st, 2017
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One Minute Tax
One Minute Tax
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Refund Express
Refund Express
Lodge a basic tax return online from just $29.
    Refund Express could help you
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  • Claim various income streams and deductions
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Commonwealth Financial Planning
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How do I lodge my tax return online?

Let’s assume you’ve read through our comprehensive guides to tax services in Australia, you’ve read up on your deductions and allowances and you’ve made the decision to complete your return yourself.

Step 1: Open or login into an myGov Account

If you don’t have one already, then you’ll need to create a myGov account. Simply head over to their website on the link below to create your account, which you can then link to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

If you already have an account, you can login with your credentials. You'll be prompted to enter in a security code to verify your identity. This is sent to your mobile phone online.

Screenshot 2016-06-30 11.59.07

Visit myGov login page.

2. Click on "services"

Screenshot 2016-06-30 11.59.45

2. Click on "Australian Taxation Office"

You will need to link your account to the Australian Tax Office by clicking on the green link icon and following the prompts. If you have already done so from the previous year, your account should look like the below.

Screenshot 2016-06-30 12.01.43

Click on "Australian Tax Office".

You'll then be taking to the official ATO website. Follow the prompts to file your tax return. Remember to have your Group Certificate ready.

Screenshot 2016-06-30 12.06.27

From here, once you have suggested your pathway, you will be asked to input all of your financial information and deductions, it is really important that you get all of your figures correct, so take your time and check everything twice.

How much tax do I pay?

The amount of tax you pay generally depends on how much you earn and how much tax you've paid so far. Use our calculator below to give you an indication.

Could I DIY or get professional help?

A few factors that can help your decision:

  • How complicated your return is. If your tax return is straightforward then submitting it online may be easier. However, if you have bought or sold multiple investments and don't have time to go through the paperwork then using the services of a tax agent may be
  • Your budget for fees. Usually a tax agent will charge a flat fee or charge based on a tiered scale. In most cases, your tax agent can make the fee worth it, by saving you more in your tax return.
  • Your confidence in your own financial know how. The ATO regularly audits tax returns to ensure they're compliant and follow the law. Tax regulations are always changing and if your tax return is not considered to be compliant, there are serious penalties including fines and gaol time.

Which type of return is best for who?

You should know based on your income and type what kind of tax return you should fill out, but if you’re new to this there are several categories that you might fit into.

  • Individual tax returns. These are returns mainly for personal cases who are employed who earn an income. This also includes the self-employed or contractors working with an Australian Business Number (ABN).
  • Partnership tax returns. These are returns for businesses in a partnership structure.
  • Company tax returns. These are returns for private companies, but have more than two people in the company structure.
  • Trust tax returns. Trusts have different tax regulations and rates applies. The trustee is typically responsible for submitting the tax return.
  • Corporate tax returns. These returns are to be filed by a corporation (typically listed on a stock exchange) and need to be audited by a third party.

If you’re reading this, it’s most likely that you’re an individual, but if you’re filing on behalf of a business or company then it may be best to seek professional advice.

The latest in tax-return

What services can help me lodge my tax online?

There are several tax specialists that could help you with your return. We’ve reviewed them individually, so click on any one company to be taken to their page.

Your tax questions answered

Yes. All of the registered tax providers and the ATO will have taken security measures to ensure that your financial information is being handled securely. Though if you still prefer to do things face to face that still should be possible depending on where you live.

Anyone who has been paid for goods and services, or who has paid any tax through wages must lodge a tax return. Failure to do so will result in a failure to pay on time penalty and, perhaps, more serious trouble if left untended to. If you’re worried about your tax situation then contact a tax professional to find out more.

Child care expenses are not eligible as a tax deduction, through you may be able to claim the Child Care Tax Rebate (CCTR) through the Family Assistance Office.

DISCLAIMER: Many of the comments in this article are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information applicability to their own particular circumstances.

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14 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SharonSeptember 13, 2017

    My previous employer sold the business I work for early this year, he never sent me a group certificate and I cant phone him to get one sent. How do I lodge with out that group certificate? Any help would be appreciated.

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanSeptember 13, 2017

      Hello Sharon,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      You may consider checking the pre-filing service in myTax if your employer is unable to give you group certificate. There are ways on how to get it without your employer, usually a statutory declaration is no longer required.

      – Ask your tax agent to check our pre-filling service through their Tax Agent Portal, OR
      – Reviewing your payslips, time-sheets and bank statements.

      Alternatively, you can review ATO page regarding details about obtaining payment summary information, which includes a calculator to help you reconstruct.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    DenisJuly 11, 2017

    Last year [2015-16] I downloaded an ATO app. Filled it out with my Income/Expenses (tax relevant) and then lodged it online. Question – Can I do the same this year?

    • Staff
      LiezlJuly 11, 2017Staff

      Hi Denis,

      Yes, you can lodge your tax return the same way. Please make sure to lodge your tax return by the 31 October deadline to avoid penalties. If you are completing your own tax return and are unable to lodge by 31 October, kindly contact ATO as soon as possible.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  3. Default Gravatar
    ChristineMay 29, 2017

    Is it possible to do my return now.I haven’t earnt any money this financial year. My only income has been centrelinks newstart .I am owed $2146 from tax i paid from a super claim.as my circumstances will not change and it was only one day that stopped me claiming last year .I wonder if i could do it now as I’m in a desperate situation.i have a car which doesn’t go and am going to living in it unless I can find a way to pay overdue rent.I have serious back issues that will get worse if this happens .thank for you time.Christine

    • Staff
      MayJune 1, 2017Staff

      Hi Christine,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you want to find out if you can lodge a return for 2015-16, you’d need to read the Do you need to lodge a tax return? 2016 information on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website. If you can lodge, then there are instructions from the Department of Human Services’ page that you can follow on how you can lodge your tax return.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  4. Default Gravatar
    KathrynSeptember 18, 2016

    Where do you input RECS in Mytax? Or view it from pre fill?

    • Staff
      ShirleySeptember 19, 2016Staff

      Hi Kathryn,

      Thanks for your question.

      RECS is generally registered through the REC Registry, rather than through MyTax. Please see this page for more information.

      If you need further assistance, please get in touch with the REC Registry on 1300 553 542.

      I hope this has helped.

    • Default Gravatar
      KathrynSeptember 21, 2016

      Sorry, I made a typo, I meant RESC as in Reportable Employer Super Contributions.
      Thanks.

    • Staff
      ShirleySeptember 28, 2016Staff

      Hi Kathryn,

      Thanks for your question.

      The reportable employer superannuation contributions (RESC) section can be found under IT2.

      Please add up the reportable employer superannuation contributions amounts shown on your payment summaries and then write the total at T item IT2.

      Hope this helps.

  5. Default Gravatar
    ABCAugust 3, 2016

    how much income tax i have to pay to ATO (being OZ citizen) if I work in US for 1 year and earn USD 100000

    • Staff
      ShirleyAugust 4, 2016Staff

      Hi ABC,

      Thanks for your question.

      Generally, you need to pay tax in Australia if you’ve earned the income through an Australian source.

      If you would like to discuss your personal situation, we recommend you speak to an online tax agent.

  6. Default Gravatar
    peterSeptember 8, 2015

    what is the best way for me to lodge a partnership tax return for industry code 85990 natural therapies?
    Can I do this online?

    • Staff
      ShirleySeptember 8, 2015Staff

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for your question.

      A partnership tax return has a similar structure to that of an individual’s return. It can be done online.

      However, if you require assistance, we recommend that you speak to a tax agent.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

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