Who has to do a tax return? Each working individual who pays taxes in Australia needs to do a tax return. When to do a tax return The tax year runs from 1 July to the 30th June of the following year. Each person has four months to submit their tax return each year, from 1 July to 31 October. If you don’t submit it you can be fined up to $180 for each 28 days that pass, or a maximum of $850 for that particular tax return. (See more below) How to do an Australian Tax Return The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has an online service to help you prepare and lodge your own tax return. Visit the ATO Lodge Online page. Simply follow the steps laid out in one of the options that you choose above. Before lodging your tax return there are some helpful guidelines found at ATO. It is important to know what you can claim for. Here are some examples which may be worth your while looking into. vehicle and travel expenses, including travel between work and home clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses gifts and donations home office expenses interest, dividend and other investment income deductions self-education expenses tools, equipment and other equipment other deductions Late or previous year tax returns Commonly asked question.. “I never did my tax return last year! What will happen?” The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can apply a “failure to lodge on time penalty”. They calculate the fine rate at one penalty unit per 28 days that a document is over due at a fine of $170 per 28 days, up to a maximum of 5 penalty units with a fine of $850. Size tests can apply depending on the size of your tax return. The penalty is larger for big tax returns, with the penalty unit being multiplied by two or five depending on its size. The ATO can send you a warning letter summarising the date you must lodge the overdue return by if you want to avoid being issued a default assessment. You are likely to be fined by the ATO if you have: more than one tax return still to do a poor lodgement history not complied with a request to lodge your tax return Medicare Levy Every person in Australia that pays tax also pays 2% of their earnings towards the medicare levy (healthcare). If you are not eligible for medicare you can claim your medicare contributions back. To find out whether you are eligible for medicare and how to claim back your contributions if you are not, read the following article on medicare and what to do if you are exempt. Note: If you are Irish and do not have permanent residence or citizenship you will be entitled to the medicare exemption. Be sure to claim it back, it will be a few grand for the year. *Disclaimer: While all efforts are made to ensure information is factual on this site, the Moving2Oz team recommend checking the Australian Taxation site under tax return as it is constantly changing and updating and it would be worth your while looking at it to verify information.