Guide to lodging a tax return in Australia

Learn how to complete your tax return, see what deductions you can claim and compare tax agents with this guide.

All working Australians are required to lodge a tax return with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) each year. Your tax return will declare all the income you've earned throughout the financial year, which starts on 1 July and ends on 30 June annually, to ensure you've paid the correct amount of tax. If you've paid more tax than you needed to, or if you've got some tax deductions to claim, you can expect to get this money back after submitting your tax return.

This guide provides all the information you need on how to submit your tax return, the different options available for lodging your tax return, how to correctly claim tax dedications and the deadlines you need to be aware of. You can also compare Australian tax agents in this guide, who can help you correctly lodge your tax return.

  • Online Express Tax Returns starting from $19
  • Online Tax Adviser starting from $99*
  • 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 Express 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 Adviser 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 your tax return in Australia

Updated August 17th, 2019
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
Cash
Cheque
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
N/A
Complete your tax return online from as little as $19 with help from H&R Block's Online Express tool. This is a fast, cheap and easy solution for filing basic income tax returns as well as more complex tax returns.
$79*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$65 for an investment property
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*
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.
$99*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Cheque
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
N/A
An ideal option for more complex tax returns, or if you want help maximising your return. A tax consultant will prepare your return for you online and lodge it with the ATO. Enjoy the benefits of a tax professional, but with the convenience of doing your return online.
$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. Special offer for business owners: Register your new company for only $499 (includes $488 worth of government fees and $100 cashback into your new business bank account). Click 'Go to site' to find out more. T&Cs apply.
$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.
$139*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Cheque
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 for a fee of $139. For Students and Under 21 this fee is only $79. 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 August 17th, 2019
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
Cash
Cheque
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
Complete your tax return online from as little as $19 with help from H&R Block's Online Express tool. This is a fast, cheap and easy solution for filing basic income tax returns as well as more complex tax returns.
$99*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Cheque
Pay with your tax refund (no upfront payment)
Australia-wide
An ideal option for more complex tax returns, or if you want help maximising your return. A tax consultant will prepare your return for you online and lodge it with the ATO. Enjoy the benefits of a tax professional, but with the convenience of doing your return online.
$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. Special offer for business owners: Register your new company for only $499 (includes $488 worth of government fees and $100 cashback into your new business bank account). Click 'Go to site' to find out more. T&Cs apply.
$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.
$79*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$65 for an investment property
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated August 17th, 2019
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options On-site tax returns
$139*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Cheque
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 for a fee of $139. For Students and Under 21 this fee is only $79. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.
$79*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$65 for an investment property
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated August 17th, 2019
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options On-site tax returns
$139*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Cheque
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 for a fee of $139. For Students and Under 21 this fee is only $79. Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20.
$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. Special offer for business owners: Register your new company for only $499 (includes $488 worth of government fees and $100 cashback into your new business bank account). Click 'Go to site' to find out more. T&Cs apply.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated August 17th, 2019
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options On-site tax returns
$139*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Cheque
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 for a fee of $139. For Students and Under 21 this fee is only $79. 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 August 17th, 2019
Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Payment Options On-site tax returns
$139*
Included in total income item fee
Credit/Debit card
Cash
Cheque
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 for a fee of $139. For Students and Under 21 this fee is only $79. 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

*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 offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market. There is no perfect order or perfect ranking system for the products we list on our Site, so we provide you with the functionality to self-select, re-order and compare products. The initial display order is influenced by a range of factors including conversion rates, product costs and commercial arrangements, so please don't interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. We're happy to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions, but we'd like you to make your own decisions and compare and assess products based on your own preferences, circumstances and needs.You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

Should you do your tax return yourself, or get professional support?

There's two ways you can lodge your tax return. You can complete your tax return yourself online for free using the ATO's tool myTax, or you can seek support from a registered tax agent. Both options have advantages and disadvantages.

The benefits of using a registered tax agent

A tax agent will ensure you've lodged your return correctly, and they can help maximise your refund by claiming more deductions that you're eligible for.

Choosing the right tax agent

In this guide you can compare a range of online tax agents that each offer a different level of support, from just a little bit of help all the way to a full-service tax agent.

Read this guide

Claiming tax deductions to maximise your refund

Claiming tax deductions for work-related expenses you've paid throughout the year can help reduce your taxable income and get you a bigger tax return. But it's important to claim only what you're legally entitled to.

Guide to claiming tax deductions

This guide outlines how tax deductions work, and lists a huge number of deductions that you could be eligible to claim when lodging your tax return. It also includes the tax dedications you're eligible to claim without receipts.

Read this guide

Tax deadlines you need to be aware of

You need to make sure you've successfully lodged you tax return ahead of the deadline set by the ATO each financial year, or you risk getting a penalty. There are different deadlines you need to be aware of depending on how you choose to lodge your tax return.

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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16 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    PhillyJanuary 9, 2019

    I have a friend who has just sold their family home in China. They will move here permanently soon. What is the best way to transfer the sale money to Australia? Is it taxable? If they send in multiple amounts less than $10,000 is that OK?

    Thank you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJanuary 12, 2019Staff

      Hi Philly,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      As per this page, if someone is planning to send a large sum of money to you in Australia, you could be on the hook for taxes regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), depending on the reason why they are sending it to you.

      You may also check out this page on how your friend from China can open a bank account while overseas.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

    • Avatarfinder 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

  5. Default Gravatar
    KathrynSeptember 18, 2016

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

    • Avatarfinder 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.

    • Avatarfinder 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.

  6. 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

    • Avatarfinder 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.

  7. 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?

    • Avatarfinder 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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