What happens if you lodge your income tax return after cut off?

Late Tax Returns

Late Tax Return? No Problem!

With the countdown of ‘end of financial year’ finished for another year and accountants everywhere busy calculating income tax returns for their clients all over Australia, but EOFY is not only a reminder for the next tax year, it’s also a timely reminder (for those of us who have yet to finish last year’s return) to get it organised.

What actually happens if you lodge a late return?

The first thing to remember is that it is never “too late” to lodge an overdue return (and no, the ATO never forgets about a return) so it’s best to get in contact with us sooner rather than later.

The second thing to be aware of is that the ATO has an automated ‘Failure to lodge time penalty’ which may be applied if you don’t lodge on time. Whilst they generally won’t apply it in isolated cases, they can. If you get a phone call or letter from the ATO to this effect it is best to act on it quickly to avoid fines and interest charges from the ATO

How much is the fine?

This ATO calculates the penalty at the rate of one penalty unit ($210) for each period of 28 days (or part thereof) that the return is overdue, up to a maximum of five penalty units ($1050)

Can I go to prison?

Yes, but it isn’t common. Whilst the ATO can and does prosecute for failing to lodge tax returns, they are keep to work with you to resolve the issue long before it gets to that stage. The maximum penalty which can be applied is $8,500 or imprisonment for up to 12 months..


Common questions we get are:


I have made less than the tax free threshold, do I need to lodge? Yes, you are still required to notify the ATO. Instead of lodging a late tax return, you’ll need to submit an ATO “Non-Lodgement Advice”.


I’m worried that I owe the ATO money or can’t afford the return! Take a deep breath, the ATO can help with payment plans to get you over the hump.


Finally, Don’t worry we can help!

Here at JSM Accounting Group, you have come to the right place! We can work with you and the ATO to quickly resolve your outstanding tax return!

Connect with us today and let’s get the ball rolling!


Visit our contact page here, use our booking system here or contact us on any of the details below:

07 3814 6512

Town Square, 19b/357-381 redbank Plains Qld 4301

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