Simplified Guide To Late Tax Return 2021

November 30, 2021    Accounting Services Perthwa

Like any other country, Australia also has its own taxation system, under which every earning person has to pay taxes. Taxation is indeed complex, and missing the deadline can be costly sometimes. Having a clear knowledge of the tax deadlines and the taxation procedure can help you avoid this issue. This blog discusses the significant dates of Australian taxation and provides a detailed guide on late tax return

Important Dates To Remember In A Taxation Season

Usually, the Australian taxation season runs from 1 July to 31 October for individuals. On the other hand, businesses are bound to submit quarterly and monthly activity statements throughout the year. The tax return deadline for 2021 was 31 October, and thus, it is over by now. However, the following dates will give you an idea of what you should remember regarding a tax season.


5 May 2021

This date was the deadline for an individual who used a registered tax agent to help in the lodgement of the annual tax return for the financial year 2019-2020. In general, the registered agents take care of lodging the return and thus, individuals do not need to worry much about meeting the deadline.


30 June 2021

This date marked the official end of the 2021 financial year.


1 July 2021

Tax processing for the last financial year had begun from this date.


14 July 2021

On this date, the individuals had received an annual PAYG (pay as you go) payment summary from the employer. 


16 July 2021

This date was fixed to issue the rebates from the previous financial year.


31 October 2021

This was the deadline for lodging the tax return from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. However, if you use a certified tax agent to help you file taxes, you still have some time. But in that case, also, you should consult with a tax professional to avoid hefty penalties. Applying for an extension can also be an alternative.

Go through the following sections to understand how to lodge a late tax properly.

When Do You Not Need To File A Tax Return?

If your income is less than $18200 and you have not paid any tax, you will not need to file any tax return. However, if this condition applies to you, submitting non-lodgement advice to the Australian Taxation Office will be crucial.

How Can You Lodge A Late Tax Return?

You are not too late, and therefore, you should worry about it a lot. From busy schedules to difficulties with complications, reasons can be many behind missing a deadline. So, if you have not lodged a tax return within time or have an overdue, you can seek help from any taxation firm that will help you remain updated about the rules and regulations. Taking help from a registered agent is the best way out in this case. 

Do You Need To Pay A Fine For A Late Or Past Year Tax Return?

The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) may impose a ‘failure to lodge on time penalty’ when the tax is not filed within time. This late tax return penalty is calculated at the rate of one penalty unit every 28 days. Size tests are also applied here to figure out the penalty for larger entities easily. 

Currently, for every period of 28 days, the penalty is $222. The more days past the deadline, the more the penalty will be.

  • $222 for 1-28 days past deadline
  • $444 for 29-56 days past the deadline
  • $666 for 57-84 days past deadline
  • $888 for 85-112 days past deadline
  • $1110 for 113 days or more past the deadline

One thing to note here is that this FTL penalty calculation is applicable for only small businesses. For medium-sized, tax-paying businesses (with a gross income in the range of $1 million to $20 million), the fine amount will be multiplied by 2. On the other hand, the fine amount will be multiplied by five when the business size is large (with a gross income of more than $20 million).

Is There Any Penalty Applicable For A Late Tax Return?

The Australian Taxation Office may send a default assessment warning letter, including a summarised version of the income on which this assessment will be made. From this letter, you will also come to know the date by which you have to lodge the overdue return to avoid the default assessment.

The ATO demands a penalty if you meet one of the following conditions.

  • You have multiple tax returns overdue.
  • Hold a poor history of tax return lodgment.
  • You've ignored a tax return filing request.

Remember that this assessment of income is done based on the data held by the ATO. Because they are estimates and don’t calculate deductions, there is a rare chance of them being correct, and it may show higher tax liability than what you owe. If such a thing happens, you must appeal and show the exact tax liability.

Can The ATO Prosecute You If You Don’t Lodge A Tax Return?

Despite being rare, the Australian Taxation Office can prosecute the individual in the case of failure to lodge a tax return. The maximum penalty applied on prosecution is currently $9000 or 12-month imprisonment.

Can You Get Audited If You Don’t Lodge A Tax Return?

If you lodge a late tax return in 2021, there is a high chance that the ATO will conduct an audit of your accounts. That is why we recommend hiring a top-rated tax professional who can be equipped and qualified to reply to all the queries raised during the ATO interrogations.

How Can A Tax Agent Help You?

A registered tax agent can help you properly lodge your tax return Perth. You may have to bear a fee, but many taxation firms provide the benefit of a refund. Even if you need to lodge a return for non-lodgement of overdue years, your tax agent may submit the non-lodgement advice to the ATO on your behalf. 

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