BLOG Do I have to lodge a tax return?

Kathryn Harris, FCPA, CTA TrustOne Partners

It can sometimes be confusing trying to work out whether or not you need to lodge a tax return.

BLOG Do I have to lodge a tax return?

We all now that if you earn money the tax office want to know about it, but do they really care about every cent? How much do you have to earn before you need to lodge a tax return? If you are over 18 and earn less than $18,200 ($20,542 if you received a government allowance or payment during the year) you may not have to lodge.  If you are old enough to qualify for an aged pension you can earn up to $28,974 as a member of a couple where both of you qualify before you need to lodge a tax return. ($32,279 as a single person)  

However if you had any of the following you will still have to lodge a return regardless of how much money you earn:

  • You had tax withheld from your pay or you paid tax instalments;

  • You carried on a business;

  • You made a loss that you can offset against other years income;

  • You are entitled to a distribution from a trust or a partnership that carries on a primary production business;

  • You qualified as a special profession (sportsperson, artist, inventor) covered by the income averaging rules;

You may still need to notify Centrelink of how much you earn even if you don't need to lodge a tax return but receive Family Tax Benefit Part B.

If you receive fully franked dividends you can lodge an Application for refund of franking credits for individuals. We can do this for you for a fee or you can complete the form yourself and lodge it over the phone with the ATO through an automated system. 

If you are still not sure if you do need to lodge there is a questionnaire on the ATO website 

If you do need to lodge you can make appointment online, email or post your information to us or drop it into either of our offices.

Kathryn Harris, FCPA, CTA TrustOne Partners

Kathryn is a small business advisor and tax specialist. She is passionate about helping small business owners work smarter.