If you're not sure we can help you determine whether you’re required to lodge a tax return, so, if you haven’t lodged a tax return, it's not too late.
Generally, If you earn more than the tax-free threshold which currently stands at $18,200, you’re required to lodge a tax return. In some cases you may even be required to lodge if you earn less than that amount – You need to lodge an income tax return every year. However, the ATO can apply a number of sanctions and penalties if you failed to lodge your return on time or penalise you for lodging late.
We can help you to prepare and lodge all late returns, call us on 0456 799 959 to book an appointment.
WHAT IF I DON'T NEED TO LODGE A TAX RETURN?
If you earned less than $18,200 and didn't pay any tax, you may not be required to lodge a tax return.
However, it’s important to submit a non-lodgement advice to the ATO which explains that you don’t need to lodge and ensures they don’t list you as having an outstanding return. Without a non-lodgment advice, the ATO will assume you need to lodge and may take compliance action in order to force you to. We can prepare and lodge your non-lodgement advice.
WHAT’S THE FINE IF I DON’T LODGE A TAX RETURN?
Firstly, the ATO will issue you a Failure To Lodge (FTL) penalty if your tax return isn’t lodged by the due date. This fine is calculated at the rate of one penalty unit for each period of 28 days or part thereof that the document is overdue, up to a maximum of five penalty units. The value of a penalty unit is currently $210, which makes the maximum penalty which can be applied for an individual – $1050.
The penalty is normally applied automatically but is not normally applied to returns with either a nil result or which generate a refund. Where a penalty is applied, the ATO will sometimes remit it where it’s ‘fair and reasonable to do so,’ such as in the event of natural disaster or serious illness.
ARE THERE PENALTIES FOR LODGING A LATE TAX RETURN?
If you failed to lodge your late return after receiving the penalty notice, especially where you have several years outstanding, the ATO can issue you with one or more default assessments. This is basically an estimated assessment of your income, based on data held by the ATO.
WILL I GET PROSECUTED IF I DON’T LODGE A TAX RETURN?
Even though it’s not common, the ATO can and does prosecute for failing to lodge tax returns. The maximum penalty which can be applied on prosecution is $8,500 or imprisonment for up to 12 months.
WILL I GET AUDITED IF I DON’T LODGE A TAX RETURN?
If you lodge late, it’s widely believed you’re at increased risk of being reviewed or audited by the ATO.