The Australian fiscal system can seem daunting, especially if you’re emigrating there for a permanent work position and are due to start paying taxes there for the first time.
However, unlike countries such as the US where tax season is essentially year-round, Australia’s only really runs from the 1 July – 31 October if you’re an individual (if you’re a business, you’re less lucky, and have to submit monthly and quarterly activity statements all year round). If you’re really lost this list should be able to give you a feel for some of the key dates in the Australian fiscal year.
If you’re an individual and used a registered tax agent to help lodge your annual tax return for the fiscal year 2017 (1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017), this is typically the deadline they will adhere to for the submission of your return. This isn’t something you really need to concern yourself with, as hopefully the agents will take care of it for you.
The official end of the 2017 fiscal year.
The official beginning of the 2018 fiscal year. After the financial year ends, you have until the 31 October to lodge your tax return for that year – for the tax year beginning 1 July 2017 and ending 30 June 2018, you’ll have until 31 October 2018 (unless you use a registered tax agent for assistance, in which case the deadline falls later).
The Australian Taxation Office begins to process tax returns from the fiscal year just ended.
You should receive an annual Pay As You Go payment summary from your employer on this date. A similar summary is issued to the tax office a month after this, so make sure you receive this and check everything is in order.
The estimated date for the issue of rebates from the previous fiscal year. The timing can differ slightly from year to year, but refunds are typically issued 2-3 days around this date.
Deadline for lodging your tax return for the fiscal year 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018. If you use a Registered Tax Agent like Melbourne Accountant for help the deadline is usually later, but you’ll still need to consult with them before the 2nd to avoid penalties. Alternatively, you can apply for an extension – Remember that it’s better to lodge a complete, delayed tax return than an incomplete one on time.
The due date for income tax returns for companies, trusts and businesses whose taxable annual income exceeded $10 million in the previous fiscal year. Some companies may be advised to submit returns earlier if they have a history of failing to lodge tax returns on time in previous years (in which case, the recommended lodge date would have been October 31 2017).
The first deadline for monthly PAYG activity statements falling in 2017. As the Australian tax syst runs on a Pay As You Go basis where tax is automatically deducted, it’s necessary for your employer lodge monthly activity statements on the 21st of every month. These relate to the withholding of income at source for tax and superannuation (retirement fund) reasons. This is only something you need to worry about if you’re an employer and have PAYG withholding responsibilities.
Each activity statement is a month in arrears, so for the 21 January 2018 the report would be lodged for tax activities between then and the 21 December, 2017.
Deadline for businesses to make certain lodgings and payments relating to the December quarter of the fiscal year, for example Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Deadline for businesses to make certain lodgings and payments relating to the March quarter of the fiscal year.
Deadline for businesses to make certain lodgings and payments relating to the June quarter of the fiscal year.
The deadline for businesses to submit an annual summary of PAYG withholding, detailing all payments made to employees/additional payees and the total amounts withheld from wages and salaries.
Deadline for businesses to make certain lodgings and payments relating to the September quarter of the fiscal year.
Deadline for your employer to submit the November PAYG activity statement for their payees, and the final tax date for 2018.
Tax years can be confusing because the deadlines often straddle the calendar year or overlap significantly, but hopefully this list will give you a better idea of the taxation timeline as it runs in Australia. For more information and more specific tax details for your particular needs, our Melbourne Accountant tax team is on hand to help.