Tax returns: The ultimate guide to lodging tax returns in Australia

Lodging personal income tax returns online is quick and easy.

Tax returns cover the financial year, which starts from 1 July to 30 June of each year. If you intend to lodge a tax return yourself, it needs to be done so by 31 October. However, if you're lodging it through a tax agent, this can be as late as 15th May 2019. 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 and knowledge can help you maximise your deductions and get the best possible tax return for your situation.

  • Online DIY tax returns starting from $19
  • Online Tax Pro starting from $135*
  • Business tax returns from $280*

H&R Block Tax Return Offer

Enjoy the flexibility of lodging your tax return online with H&R Block.

Use the online DIY tax return system to lodge your individual or business tax return in less than 10 minutes. H&R Block will guide you through the process with tips and tricks and an accountant will check your return before sending it to the ATO.

Or opt for an Online Tax Pro to lodge your return online with the help of expert tax consultants who will prepare your return for you and maximise your refund.

Promoted

Find a tax agent to lodge tax returns in Australia

Updated October 16th, 2018
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options Online tax returns On-site tax returns
$19*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
N/A
Complete your tax return online with assistance from H&R Block's accountants for as little as $19. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20. A fast and easy option to complete all types of returns online.
finder Exclusive: $99 flat fee
Included in flat fee
Credit/Debit card
Bank Transfer
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia wide
Melbourne
finder Exclusive: This discounted fee is only available to customers who apply for a tax return with A One Accountants through finder. Students, seniors and non-permanent residents enjoy a further discount with a $77 flat fee. Click 'Go to site' and complete the contact form to find out more. T&Cs apply. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $22. Lodge returns online, via phone or in person.
$69*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$41 for more than $1000 of deductions
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Australia wide
Sydney
Lodge individual & company tax returns online or in-person. Fast online form with additional options to complete tax returns for investment properties, sole trader tax and share investments.
$79*
$0 when you purchase the $49 income package
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia wide
N/A
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $10 for basic returns. Lodge individual & company tax returns. Fast online form & free live chat.
$80*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$30 for more than $1000 of deductions
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Australia wide
Sydney
Fast and reliable tax returns for individuals, businesses and self-managed super funds (SMSFs).
$80*
Business tax: starting from $250
General deductions: $0
For motor vehicle expenses: $15
Credit/Debit card
Australia wide
Perth
A boutique firm that provides personalised experiences for all customers. Ideal option for individuals and small businesses based in Perth.
$135*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
N/A
An ideal option if you're looking to lodge a complex return or want to maximise your refund with the help of a tax professional, but still want the convenience of doing your return online. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.
$99*
$0
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia wide
Melbourne
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20. Lodge individual & company tax returns. Fast online form & free live chat.
$99*
$0 for up to 2 deductions
$29 for additional deductions
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia wide
Sydney
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $29. Online and in-person tax services for individuals, sole traders and companies.
$99*
Business tax: starting from $179
$29 for up to 2 deductions
Additional $29 for extra deductions
Credit/Debit card
Bank transfer
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
N/A
Melbourne
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $29. Basic tax returns over the phone Australia-wide. In-person individual and business tax returns in Melbourne.
$135*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
N/A
Australia-wide
Visit one of 470 conveniently located office locations across Australia for a personalised service to maximise your tax return. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.
$155*
finder Exclusive: $5 discount
$0 for all work related deductions
Bank transfer
Credit/Debit card
Australia wide
Canberra
finder Exclusive: $5 discount when you apply for a tax return with Bennetts Tax through finder. Click 'Go to site' and complete the contact form to find out more. Income item fee includes returns on interest, dividends, Superannuation and pension. A flexible option for individuals, sole traders and companies.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated October 16th, 2018
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options Online tax returns
$19*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
Complete your tax return online with assistance from H&R Block's accountants for as little as $19. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20. A fast and easy option to complete all types of returns online.
$135*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
An ideal option if you're looking to lodge a complex return or want to maximise your refund with the help of a tax professional, but still want the convenience of doing your return online. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.
finder Exclusive: $99 flat fee
Included in flat fee
Credit/Debit card
Bank Transfer
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia wide
finder Exclusive: This discounted fee is only available to customers who apply for a tax return with A One Accountants through finder. Students, seniors and non-permanent residents enjoy a further discount with a $77 flat fee. Click 'Go to site' and complete the contact form to find out more. T&Cs apply. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $22. Lodge returns online, via phone or in person.
$99*
$0
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia wide
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20. Lodge individual & company tax returns. Fast online form & free live chat.
$79*
$0 when you purchase the $49 income package
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia wide
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $10 for basic returns. Lodge individual & company tax returns. Fast online form & free live chat.
$69*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$41 for more than $1000 of deductions
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Australia wide
Lodge individual & company tax returns online or in-person. Fast online form with additional options to complete tax returns for investment properties, sole trader tax and share investments.
$99*
$0 for up to 2 deductions
$29 for additional deductions
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia wide
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $29. Online and in-person tax services for individuals, sole traders and companies.
$80*
Business tax: starting from $250
General deductions: $0
For motor vehicle expenses: $15
Credit/Debit card
Australia wide
A boutique firm that provides personalised experiences for all customers. Ideal option for individuals and small businesses based in Perth.
$155*
finder Exclusive: $5 discount
$0 for all work related deductions
Bank transfer
Credit/Debit card
Australia wide
finder Exclusive: $5 discount when you apply for a tax return with Bennetts Tax through finder. Click 'Go to site' and complete the contact form to find out more. Income item fee includes returns on interest, dividends, Superannuation and pension. A flexible option for individuals, sole traders and companies.
$80*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$30 for more than $1000 of deductions
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Australia wide
Fast and reliable tax returns for individuals, businesses and self-managed super funds (SMSFs).

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated October 16th, 2018
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options On-site tax returns
$135*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
Visit one of 470 conveniently located office locations across Australia for a personalised service to maximise your tax return. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.
$69*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$41 for more than $1000 of deductions
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Sydney
Lodge individual & company tax returns online or in-person. Fast online form with additional options to complete tax returns for investment properties, sole trader tax and share investments.
$99*
$0 for up to 2 deductions
$29 for additional deductions
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Sydney
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $29. Online and in-person tax services for individuals, sole traders and companies.
$80*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$30 for more than $1000 of deductions
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Sydney
Fast and reliable tax returns for individuals, businesses and self-managed super funds (SMSFs).

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated October 16th, 2018
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options On-site tax returns
$135*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
Visit one of 470 conveniently located office locations across Australia for a personalised service to maximise your tax return. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.
finder Exclusive: $99 flat fee
Included in flat fee
Credit/Debit card
Bank Transfer
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Melbourne
finder Exclusive: This discounted fee is only available to customers who apply for a tax return with A One Accountants through finder. Students, seniors and non-permanent residents enjoy a further discount with a $77 flat fee. Click 'Go to site' and complete the contact form to find out more. T&Cs apply. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $22. Lodge returns online, via phone or in person.
$99*
Business tax: starting from $179
$29 for up to 2 deductions
Additional $29 for extra deductions
Credit/Debit card
Bank transfer
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Melbourne
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $29. Basic tax returns over the phone Australia-wide. In-person individual and business tax returns in Melbourne.
$99*
$0
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Melbourne
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20. Lodge individual & company tax returns. Fast online form & free live chat.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated October 16th, 2018
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options On-site tax returns
$135*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
Visit one of 470 conveniently located office locations across Australia for a personalised service to maximise your tax return. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.
$80*
Business tax: starting from $250
General deductions: $0
For motor vehicle expenses: $15
Credit/Debit card
Perth
A boutique firm that provides personalised experiences for all customers. Ideal option for individuals and small businesses based in Perth.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated October 16th, 2018
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options On-site tax returns
$135*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
Visit one of 470 conveniently located office locations across Australia for a personalised service to maximise your tax return. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.
$155*
finder Exclusive: $5 discount
$0 for all work related deductions
Bank transfer
Credit/Debit card
Canberra
finder Exclusive: $5 discount when you apply for a tax return with Bennetts Tax through finder. Click 'Go to site' and complete the contact form to find out more. Income item fee includes returns on interest, dividends, Superannuation and pension. A flexible option for individuals, sole traders and companies.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated October 16th, 2018
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options On-site tax returns
$135*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
Visit one of 470 conveniently located office locations across Australia for a personalised service to maximise your tax return. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated October 16th, 2018
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options On-site tax returns
$135*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
Visit one of 470 conveniently located office locations across Australia for a personalised service to maximise your tax return. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated October 16th, 2018
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options On-site tax returns
$135*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
Visit one of 470 conveniently located office locations across Australia for a personalised service to maximise your tax return. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.

Compare up to 4 providers

*This is the minimum fee charged for income item tax returns. The price listed on this table is subject to terms and conditions. To find out more or to receive an accurate quote for your tax return, please visit the agent's website to submit an enquiry.

The products compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms "Best" and "Top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

How to lodge tax returns 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 a 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.

Visit myGov login page.

2. Click on "Australian Taxation Office" under 'Your services'

You will need to link your account to the Australian Tax Office by clicking on 'Australian Taxation Office' under the 'Link a service' section and following the prompts. If you have already done so from the previous year, your account should look like the below.

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 tax returns are 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

Online specialists to help lodge tax returns

There are several tax specialists that could help you with your tax return. We’ve reviewed them individually, so find out which one is right for you by reading their reviews below.

Your tax returns questions answered

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?

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlJuly 11, 2017

      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

    • finder Customer Care
      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?

    • finder Customer Care
      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.

    • finder Customer Care
      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

    • finder Customer Care
      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?

    • finder Customer Care
      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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