Completing your tax return can be a confusing process for many Australians. Here are some answers to some of the most common questions that taxpayers often have in regards to completing their tax return.

When Can I Lodge My Tax Return?

Taxpayers are able to lodge their tax return any time after 1st July. However, it is strongly recommended that you avoid lodging your return on the 1st July.

Millions of Australians are feeling enthusiastic about receiving their annual tax refund, but filling your tax return on 1stJuly has the potential to land you in some serious trouble with the tax office.

Rushing in and submitting your tax return too quickly could result in your losing thousands of dollars, and possibly put you in the crosshairs of the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

The ATO often sees a lot of mistakes in early July, with people forgetting to include income from banks, dividends from shares, sharing economy platforms and cryptocurrency exchange.

Besides the point that you shouldn’t lodge your tax return too early, equally you shouldn’t miss it altogether. Each year one in four Aussies fail to complete their tax return.

When Is My Tax Return Due and What Happens If I Miss the Deadline?

Your tax return is due on the 31st October. Australians will possibly receive a fine of up to $1100 for not lodging their tax return, and if prosecuted by the Australian Taxation Office they could risk getting an $8500 penalty or 12 months in prison. Anyone earning more than the tax-free threshold, which currently stands at $18,200, is required to submit a tax return.

Four out of five Australians generally receive a refund, so if you haven’t lodged you may be missing out on money you could have back in your pocket.

How Long Does It Usually Take for You To Receive Your Tax Refund?

In most cases taxpayers will receive their tax return in less than 14 days. However, the ATO do however reserve the right to take 30 days to check your tax return. If your tax return is taking longer to process it is recommended that you contact the team at Vault Business Advisors to your situation and will email you when the ATO provide further updates.

What Can Taxpayers Claim on Their Tax Return?

As a rule of thumb, you can only claim expenses that directly relate to your job role. If you have any questions contact the team at Business Advisors and we will run through absolutely everything to ensure you are not paying one cent of unnecessary tax.

If you are having trouble collating your paperwork when you book your tax appointment ask one of our staff to send through a tax preparation checklist.

What Is A BAS?

If your business is registered for GST you need to lodge a business activity statement (BAS).

Your BAS will help you report and pay your:

  • goods and services tax (GST)
  • pay as you go (PAYG) instalments
  • PAYG withholding tax
  • other taxes.

When you register for an Australian business number (ABN) and GST the ATO will automatically send you a BAS when it is time to lodge.

How Long Should I Keep My BAS Records For?

You must keep a copy of your BAS along with the records you used to prepare ATO documents, until the latest of:

  • five years after the transaction was completed
  • four years after you lodged your BAS
  • if your assessment has been amended, four years after the date you received the notice of amended assessment.

All records should be in writing and in English. Information stored electronically must be in a form that is available to access.