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 1st July – 31st 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). The Australian Taxation Office has a number of helpful articles for new individual tax payers here, but 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.
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Individual and General Dates
5th May 2017 If you’re an individual and used a registered tax agent to help lodge your annual tax return for the fiscal year 2016 (1st July 2015 – 30th June 2016), 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.
30th June 2017 Official end of the 2016 fiscal year.
1st July 2017 The official beginning of the 2017 fiscal year. After the financial year ends, you have until the 31st October to lodge your tax return for that year - for the tax year beginning 1st July 2016 and ending 30th June 2017, you’ll have until 31st October 2017 (unless you use a registered tax agent for assistance, in which case the deadline falls later).
1st July 2017 The Australian Taxation Office begins to process tax returns from the fiscal year just ended.
14th July 2017 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.
16th July 2017 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.
31st October 2017 Deadline for lodging your tax return for the fiscal year July 1st 2016 – June 30th 2017. If you use a Registered Tax Agent like us 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 average tax refund Down Under is AU$2600
15th January 2017 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 31st 2016).
21st January 2017 The first deadline for monthly PAYG activity statements falling in 2017. As the Australian tax system 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 21st January 2017 the report would be lodged for tax activities between then and the 21st December, 2016. Find out more about the PAYG system by clicking here.
28th February 2017 Deadline for businesses to make certain lodgings and payments relating to the December quarter (October - December 2016 or quarter 2) of the fiscal year, for example Goods and Services Tax (GST).
28th April 2017 Deadline for businesses to make certain lodgings and payments relating to the March quarter (January – March 2017 or quarter 3) of the fiscal year.
28th July 2017 Deadline for businesses to make certain lodgings and payments relating to the June quarter (March – June 2017 or quarter 4) of the fiscal year.
14th August 2017 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.
28th October 2017 Deadline for businesses to make certain lodgings and payments relating to the September quarter (June – September 2017 or quarter 1) of the fiscal year.
21st December 2017 Deadline for your employer to submit the November PAYG activity statement for their payees, and the final tax date for 2017.
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 Australian Tax Team is on hand to help.
The average tax refund Down Under is AU$2600