How to deal with late or overdue tax returns


Late tax return? If you have not filed tax returns in years, we can help you get everything up to date.


Below is information you need to know about late tax returns.


Do I have to file a tax return if I did not earn a high income?


Most likely, the answer is yes! Filing a tax return is mandatory in Australia (in most cases). Without your tax return, the ATO cannot make an assessment on your income tax liabilities. By filing your tax return, you are informing the ATO of your income and other relevant information. If you are in a tax exemption category in a financial year (for example, if you have no income), you must still update your information with the ATO. It is important that you submit the update before the due date of your tax return to avoid fines.


What are the penalties or fines for late tax returns?

  • The ATO imposes a "late filing penalty" (FTL) on overdue tax returns or activity statements (BAS or IAS).

  • The FTL is generally up to $900 for each late tax return/activity statement for individuals and small businesses and $4,500 for large businesses.

  • If the overdue tax return results in an additional income tax payment, a General Interest Charge (GIC) of 10-14% per year may also be assessed.

  • In many cases, the GIC is higher than the FTL. The ATO is more likely to impose a penalty if: You have more than one tax return outstanding You have a poor filing history, or You have not complied with a request to file your tax return


Can the fines be reduced?

Yes. In special circumstances, the ATO may consider reducing or waiving the penalties and interest after you have filed all outstanding tax returns and statements. These circumstances include, but are not limited to: You have a refund available from your tax return instead of owing taxes You are experiencing significant personal or domestic difficulties beyond your control You are seriously ill, or you have been caring for another person who was seriously ill

You have been affected by a natural disaster Other appropriate circumstance that are considered fair and reasonable


Some of the factors you must consider before applying the FTL penalty are: The company's past compliance. The time and effort required to file the paperwork. The value of the information that must be disclosed in the tax document. Whether the company is aware of its filing obligations and the consequences of failing to comply. Whether the company has had the opportunity to comply with its obligations.


How long the tax document is overdue. Any contact the company or its representative may have had with the ATO prior to the filing due date.


This list is not exhaustive.


At Instant Tax Refunds, we specialise in late filings. Not only can we help you file your outstanding tax returns, but we can also help you minimise your FTL and GIC fees. We have a proven track record of FTL and GIC compliance. Book an appointment online and speak with one of our friendly, highly experienced and qualified tax preparers who will help you get your taxes up to date.

What if I do not have all my group certificates / PAYG summaries?

Instant Tax Refunds can help you. With your permission, we can check your filing status with the ATO and determine which years are outstanding and access details that have been reported to the ATO. Typically, the ATO will have details of your salaries, interest, dividends and other income for the last 10 years.


In addition, by completing your outstanding tax returns, our tax advisors can also find out your previous entitlements to benefits such as the baby bonus, education tax rebate, family allowance and more. We also offer a convenient no upfront fee service and deduct your fee from your refund. It is important to understand your tax filing obligations and make sure you are up to date with your tax returns.


At Instant Tax Refunds, we understand that this can be stressful at times, which is why we are here for you. Talk to one of our friendly team members and let us take the burden of your tax worries off your shoulders.

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