Individual Taxpayers

For individual taxpayers in Australia, the deadline to lodge your tax return is typically October 31st of the year following the end of the financial year. This means that for the financial year ending June 30, 2024, the deadline would be October 31, 2024 (although if a weekend it is the next business day). This deadline applies to individuals who are lodging their tax returns on their own, without the assistance of a tax agent. However, it’s essential to be aware that if you’re unable to lodge your tax return by this deadline, you can request an extension. The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) may grant extensions in certain circumstances, such as illness or other exceptional circumstances. It’s important to note that requesting an extension does not guarantee approval, and failing to lodge by the extended deadline may result in penalties or interest charges such as $312 for each period of 28 days, up to 5 times for “Small Entities”.

Tax Agents (Accountants)

If you choose to engage a registered tax agent, such as an accountant, to lodge your tax return on your behalf, the deadlines are typically extended. Tax agents often have access to extended deadlines, allowing them additional time to lodge returns for their clients. This extension is one of the benefits of using a tax agent and can provide individuals with more time to gather necessary documentation and ensure accuracy in their tax returns. The extended deadline for tax agents can vary depending on various factors, including their lodgement program and professional obligations. However, it generally falls after the October 31st deadline applicable to self-lodgers, possibly up to the 15th of May of the following year although it may vary.

SMSF (Self Managed Super Funds)

When an SMSF’s tax return is lodged late, it’s not just a matter of inconvenience; it can have serious consequences. Losing the tax concession status means the fund will be treated as a non-complying fund by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This designation carries significant penalties and tax implications. For instance, non-complying funds may face higher tax rates on their income, which can substantially reduce the fund’s returns. Additionally, members of non-complying funds may lose certain tax benefits, such as the ability to claim tax deductions on contributions.

Implications of Late Lodgement

Late lodgement of tax returns can have various implications, particularly in terms of penalties or interest charges. If you owe tax and fail to lodge your tax return on time, the ATO may impose penalties for late lodgement. These penalties can accumulate over time, leading to increased financial liabilities. Additionally, late lodgement can delay the processing of your tax return, which may impact any refunds you’re entitled to receive.

Possibility of Audit

While late lodgement of tax returns can attract attention from the ATO, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be audited. Audits by the ATO are typically triggered by various factors, including discrepancies in tax returns, unusual claims, or random selection for compliance purposes. It’s important to note that consistently late lodgement or failure to comply with tax obligations can increase the likelihood of being audited. Therefore, it’s advisable to lodge your tax return on time or seek an extension if necessary to avoid penalties and ensure compliance with tax regulations.


In summary, lodging your tax return on time is crucial to avoid penalties and interest charges. Whether you’re lodging your tax return yourself or through a tax agent, it’s essential to be aware of the deadlines and comply with tax obligations to maintain good standing with the ATO. If you’re unsure about deadlines or require assistance with your tax return, consulting a registered tax agent or seeking guidance from the ATO is recommended.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact us today. You can also browse our other blog posts for topics that may be of interest to you.

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