How to file your 2021 tax return if you haven’t done so in years
With tax time upon us, for Australians who haven’t filed their taxes in previous years, now is a good time to catch up – or face the penalty.
Australians face a fine of up to $ 1,100 for not filing their tax return, and if sued by the Australian Taxation Office, they face a fine of $ 8,500 or 12 months from prison.
Anyone earning more than the tax exemption threshold, which currently stands at $ 18,200, is required to file an income tax return.
By far most people are doing the right thing. But the best advice for taxpayers with unpaid returns is to update as soon as possible, said ATO deputy commissioner Tim Loh, and there’s a good reason to do so, too.
“We know that four in five Australians usually get a refund, so if you haven’t accommodated you may be running out of money you might have in your pocket,” he told news.com. to.
“We recognize that sometimes people do not meet their filing obligations on time, even with the best of intentions, and we encourage all concerned taxpayers that they cannot file on time, or [who] have already missed the due date, contact us as soon as possible to discuss their options.
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What happens if you don’t deposit
H&R Block’s tax communications director Mark Chapman said that for people who fail to file a tax return on time, the ATO will first charge you a Failure to File Penalty (FTL), which ranges from $ 222 and $ 1,100.
“The penalty is normally applied automatically but is not normally applied to returns that have a zero result or generate a refund,” he said.
“When a penalty is applied, the ATO will sometimes remit it when it is just and reasonable to do so, for example in the event of a natural disaster or serious illness. “
But he warned that when a taxpayer continues to fail to file a return, especially for several years, the ATO may issue the taxpayer with one or more default assessments.
“This is essentially an estimated estimate of the taxpayer’s income, based on data held by the ATO on the taxpayer or similar taxpayers,” he said.
“Because these valuations are estimated, they are rarely completely correct and often show a higher tax liability than the taxpayer actually owes, as they often do not take into account items such as deductions.”
Taxpayers can appeal a default assessment, but they must be able to show what their actual tax owed was, he added, and that it is not enough to claim that the ATO figures are not correct.
It is widely accepted that taxpayers who file late are at increased risk of being reviewed or audited by the ATO, said Chapman.
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What to do to collect your tax
People can file returns through their myGov account as early as the 2013-14 tax year and the ATO will pre-populate all the information available to you, Loh said.
“If you have any accommodation pending before 2013-14, we can also check if we have any information to help you with the accommodation,” he said.
“You may have outstanding returns for years that you weren’t required to file and in that case you can submit a ‘notice of non-filing’ through ATO online services. “
Penalties for non-repayment can vary based on history and severity, he said, but there is the option to create and manage payment plans if you have taxes to pay.
If you’re late with one or more tax returns, the ATO will catch up with you and take action, Chapman warned.
“You should anticipate this by updating your tax returns. Your tax agent can make the catch-up process as easy as possible. If there is a possibility that penalties can be waived, they will argue for you with the ATO, ”he said.
“If you have missing income information, they will often be able to fill in the gaps by getting pre-populated information sent to the ATO from third parties such as banks and employers. When you haven’t kept records of deductions, they will work with you to establish what you can claim.