Tax returns

Once you start paying tax, you need to submit a tax return to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) every year.

Read more about paying tax

A tax return is a form you fill in to tell the ATO:

You can lodge your tax return using the ATO's free online service, myTax. Find out how to lodge your first tax return:

Claiming deductions

A deduction reduces the income you pay tax on. In some cases, you can claim things you bought for work over the last financial year. This might be uniforms, travel costs, equipment, tools or stationery.

There are other things like donations to charity that you can claim as deductions.

To prove you paid out of your own money, make sure you ask for a receipt. Keep the receipts somewhere safe or save a photo of the receipt on your phone.

The ATO app myDeductions can help you keep track of your receipts:

Refund or a bill

Once you fill out and submit your tax return, the ATO reviews the details. You’ll then get a ‘notice of assessment’.

This will tell you whether you get either:

  • a refund, meaning they will return some money to you
  • a bill, meaning you owe some more tax and need to pay the ATO.

The ATO explains what information you need, how to submit your return, and what happens once you do:

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