MoneyTalk Member Liz asks: “How much can I earn without putting in a tax return?”
The short, short answer is the tax free threshold — $18,200 — but of course it’s not as simple as that (sigh). The Australian Taxation Office is a government bureaucracy after all… 🙂
Assuming you are an Australian resident over 18 years of age (at the end of the financial year, i.e. as at 30 June) who earned any income at all, a number of other ‘events’ may trigger the need to lodge a tax return.
- eligibility for the seniors and pensioners tax offset
- receipt of an Australian Government taxable allowance or payment (e.g. Newstart, Youth allowance, Austudy, parenting payments, and partner or sickness allowances)
- any tax withheld from any Australian income
- any PAYG tax installments paid
- any business or investment income or loss
- any superannuation contributions or distributions (employer or personal)
- receipt of any reportable fringe benefits amount
- entitlement to the private health insurance rebate (if you did not claim the rebate as a premium reduction and if a spouse is not claiming it)
- any exempt foreign employment income and $1 or more of other income
- a child support assessment.
IF YOU DO NOT NEED TO LODGE A RETURN…
…but you have previously lodged returns, you’re still not entirely off the hook. You should submit a “Non-lodgment Advice” to the Australian Taxation Office.
IF YOU DO NEED TO LODGE ONE…
…and are doing it yourself (rather than via a tax agent), you need to lodge it by 31 October or you could face a penalty.
Better safe than sorry
If you think you may not need to lodge a return, we suggest you double check. Spend a few minutes using the Australian Taxation Office’s Do I need to lodge a tax return? tool.
What are your thoughts?
Is there anything else you’d like to know about income tax?
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