Tax return checklist: All the documents you need to lodge your tax return

As well as the basics like your Tax File Number and income details, here's a list of other things you need to have ready when lodging your tax return.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

Use our checklist and make sure you aren't forgetting anything that could you cost you money or land you in trouble with the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Here's a snapshot of what the checklist will include:

1. The basics: This includes your Tax File Number (TFN) and income statement among other things

2. Your earnings: This includes your annual payment summaries, ump sum payments received, investment income and other earnings

3. Deductions. Details of work-related expenses you wish to claim, receipts and and capital losses

Now let's go into more detail on each of these points.

Tax return checklist

Here we've compiled a tax return checklist of some pre-return information you might need to get together:

Basics

  • Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Bank details: BSB, account number, account holder name, bank name
  • For medical expenses you will also need your medicare number
  • Details of children
  • Last year's Income Tax Assessment

Earnings

  • Payment summaries (PAYG) from any places where you have received an income
  • Information on any lump-sum payments you may have received, potentially through termination payments, Centrelink. Personal injury payouts do not need to be reported if they occurred outside and unrelated to your workplace
  • Details on foreign earnings
  • Any interest received from banks or building societies
  • Statements of dividends received or invested
  • Statements on earnings from managed funds
  • Any other income gained, i.e. from properties or investments
  • If you have a spouse you will need details on their earnings and expenses

Deductions

  • Receipts for gifts and donations
  • Receipts for work-related expenses including transport (mileage), uniforms, technology necessary for your work
  • If self-employed, contributions to superannuation
  • Details about your income protection insurance
  • Costs for managing tax calculations, i.e. tax agents
  • Medical receipts
  • Details of any capital losses you wish to offset
  • Super contributions you wish to claim as a deduction

Did you know the cost of managing your taxes is deductible? This means if you pay to use a tax agent, you can claim their fee on your tax return the following year.


Choosing a tax agent

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Online tax returns
FinTax Group
$79*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$65 for an investment property
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.
Everest Tax & Business Advisors
$80*
Business tax: starting from $250
General deductions: $0
For motor vehicle expenses: $15
Australia wide
A boutique firm that provides personalised experiences for all customers. Ideal option for individuals and small businesses based in Perth.
One Minute Tax
$99*
$0
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.
Taxgain
$99*
$0 for up to 2 deductions
$29 for additional deductions
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.
Hotman & Brown
$99*
Business tax: starting from $179
$29 for up to 2 deductions
Additional $29 for extra deductions
N/A
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.
Bennetts Tax & BAS service
$155*
finder Exclusive: $5 discount
$0 for all work related deductions
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.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Online tax returns
One Minute Tax
$99*
$0
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.
FinTax Group
$79*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$65 for an investment property
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.
Taxgain
$99*
$0 for up to 2 deductions
$29 for additional deductions
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.
Everest Tax & Business Advisors
$80*
Business tax: starting from $250
General deductions: $0
For motor vehicle expenses: $15
Australia wide
A boutique firm that provides personalised experiences for all customers. Ideal option for individuals and small businesses based in Perth.
Bennetts Tax & BAS service
$155*
finder Exclusive: $5 discount
$0 for all work related deductions
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.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees On-site tax returns
FinTax Group
$79*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$65 for an investment property
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.
Taxgain
$99*
$0 for up to 2 deductions
$29 for additional deductions
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.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees On-site tax returns
Hotman & Brown
$99*
Business tax: starting from $179
$29 for up to 2 deductions
Additional $29 for extra deductions
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.
One Minute Tax
$99*
$0
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.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees On-site tax returns
Everest Tax & Business Advisors
$80*
Business tax: starting from $250
General deductions: $0
For motor vehicle expenses: $15
Perth
A boutique firm that provides personalised experiences for all customers. Ideal option for individuals and small businesses based in Perth.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees On-site tax returns
Bennetts Tax & BAS service
$155*
finder Exclusive: $5 discount
$0 for all work related deductions
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.
loading

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.

Yes indeed, tax returns are tedious. But perhaps you have been squirrelling away your receipts all year, and can combine these with the docs mentioned in our tax return checklist above to make it a breezy, stress-easy affair.

The latest in tax-return

5 key tax time 2021 questions for investors

5 key tax time 2021 questions for investors

Not sure what the rules are for shares or franking credits? Here are the details.

Read more…
Boost your 2021 tax return: Top tips for a bigger refund

Boost your 2021 tax return: Top tips for a bigger refund

It's tax time! Finder's money writers share their tips to claim deductions on everything from your home office, car and insurance to your mortgage.

Read more…
5 donations you can’t claim on tax this year (and 3 you can)

5 donations you can’t claim on tax this year (and 3 you can)

You can only claim a tax deduction for donations to charities and organisations that meet a certain set of criteria.

Read more…
Saving not splurging: 35% of Australians plan to stash tax return

Saving not splurging: 35% of Australians plan to stash tax return

Australians aren’t in the mood for splurging this tax season, with 6.8 million people planning to put their tax return into savings.

Read more…
Working from home: What can I claim on tax?

Working from home: What can I claim on tax?

Working from home due to coronavirus and want to know what you can claim on tax? Here's how to claim your home office and other household expenses as a tax deduction this year.

Read more…
Budget 2021 tax cuts: How much will you get back?

Budget 2021 tax cuts: How much will you get back?

The government has announced tax cuts of up to $1,080 again this year, but the amount you'll get back depends on how much you earn.

Read more…

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.


More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site