Each year, individuals and businesses are required to reconcile their earnings with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), a process that can often be complex and time-consuming. However, with the right guidance and tools, this annual obligation can become a smooth and stress-free experience. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the ATO Tax Return 2024, offering valuable insights and tips to ensure that you fulfil your tax obligations efficiently and effectively.

Importance of Lodging a Tax Return

Lodging an annual ATO tax return is crucial as it assesses your taxable income and calculates any refund or tax owed. The ATO requires individuals to lodge a return from 1 July to 30 June each financial year. Lodging on time, by the due date of 31 October, ensures compliance and avoids penalties.

It also enables the ATO to accurately determine your tax obligations, including any government benefits or deductions you may be eligible for. Timely lodgment supports the efficient functioning of government agencies by providing necessary revenue for public services.

Before Preparing Your Tax Return

Before preparing your ATO tax return, ensure you have all necessary documents, such as income statements from employers and records of any eligible expenses or deductions. Check the ATO’s guidelines to understand your tax obligations and available deductions. Consider creating a myGov account to access ATO online services, making lodgment more convenient.

Determine whether you need professional assistance from a registered tax agent or the ATO’s Tax Help program, especially if you find the process complex or have difficulty understanding tax laws.

Preparing Your Tax Return

Preparing your tax return involves accurately reporting your income and claiming eligible deductions. Using software or consulting a registered tax agent can help tailor your return to your specific situation. It’s important to include all sources of income, from employment to investments, and to keep records of any expenses you may claim as deductions.

If you owe tax, it’s crucial to understand the due date for payment to avoid interest charges. For those needing assistance, the ATO’s tax help program offers support in preparing and lodging your return.

Utilizing ATO’s Online Services And Tools:

The ATO provides a range of online services and tools to assist in preparing and lodging your tax return:

  • myGov Account: Create a myGov account and link it to the ATO to access online services, including lodging your tax return using myTax.
  • myTax: A convenient, secure, and user-friendly way to lodge your own tax return online, suitable for most taxpayers.
  • ATO App: Check the progress of your tax return, view your notice of assessment, and manage personal details.
  • Tax Help Program: If you’re eligible, receive free assistance from trained volunteers to prepare and lodge your tax return.
  • Pre-fill Function: Automatically fills in parts of your tax return with information reported to the ATO by employers, banks, and government agencies.
  • Deduction Tools: Use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app to track expenses and upload them directly to your tax return.

By leveraging these online services, you can streamline the process of preparing and lodging your tax return, ensuring accuracy and compliance with tax laws.

Seeking Help from a Registered Tax Agent

Registered tax agents are authorized by the ATO to prepare and lodge tax returns. They provide expert advice on deductions, help with complex tax matters, and ensure accuracy. Using a tax agent can also extend your due date for lodgment. It’s important to choose an agent registered with the Tax Practitioners Board.

How to Lodge Tax Return?

Lodge Your Tax Return Using myTax:

  • Create or link your myGov account to the ATO.
  • Gather all necessary income and deduction information.
  • Follow the prompts in myTax to complete and lodge your return.
  • Check the progress of your return using the ATO app or online services.

Individual Tax Return

An individual tax return covers the financial year from 1 July to 30 June. It reports your taxable income, deductions, and credits. Lodging your return accurately and on time ensures compliance and helps avoid penalties. If you’re having difficulty, the ATO’s Tax Help program can provide support.

After Lodgment

Receiving Your Notice of Assessment:

After lodging your tax return, the ATO will send you a Notice of Assessment. This document outlines your taxable income, tax paid, and any refunds or debts owed. It’s crucial to review this notice carefully for accuracy and keep it for your records.

Understanding Your Tax Refund or Tax Bill:

If you’ve overpaid taxes, you may receive a tax refund from the ATO. Conversely, if you owe taxes, you’ll receive a tax bill detailing the amount and due date for payment. It’s essential to address any tax bills promptly to avoid penalties or interest charges.

How to Amend Your Tax Return if Needed?

If you discover errors in your tax return, you can amend it online through myTax or by contacting the ATO. Amendments can be made for returns from the current or prior years, ensuring your tax obligations are accurate and up to date.

Non-Lodgment Advice

Non-Lodgment Advice is a document you submit to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) if you don’t need to lodge an annual tax return. It’s important for individuals who are not required to lodge a tax return for a particular financial year, from 1 July to 30 June, to inform the ATO using a Non-Lodgment Advice. This ensures that the ATO is aware you have no outstanding obligations and helps avoid unnecessary follow-up. You can complete and submit this form online through the ATO’s services or by paper if eligible. It’s crucial to submit this advice by the due date to avoid any potential issues with the ATO.


The ATO Tax Return is an essential process for all working Australians. By understanding the key components, deadlines, and available resources, individuals and businesses can navigate the tax season with confidence. Remember, it’s crucial to lodge your ATO tax return accurately and on time to avoid penalties and ensure that you receive any refunds due. If you’re ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from a tax professional or utilize the ATO’s online services. Are you ready to tackle your tax return with ease this year?


1. What are the benefits of lodging with myTax?

Lodging with myTax is quick, safe, and secure. Most returns are lodged online process within 2 weeks. myTax can pre-fill most information from your employers, banks, government agencies, and third parties by late July. It also offers a range of systems and controls to protect your information.

2. Can I get help to lodge my tax return?

Yes, you can get help lodging your tax return through the ATO’s free Tax Help program, National Tax Clinics for those who can’t afford professional tax advice, or by using a registered tax agent who will charge a fee for their services.

3. What can I claim in my tax return?

When preparing your tax return, you can claim deductions for some of your work-related expenses, which could reduce your taxable income. To claim a deduction, you must have spent the money yourself, the expenses must directly relate to earning your income, and you must have a record to prove it.

4. What happens if I lodge my tax return too soon?

Lodging too soon could mean that you might need to amend your tax return to include income items reported later by financial institutions or companies. It’s important to be tax-ready before lodging your tax return to ensure all relevant tax deductions are claimed.

5. What are the deadlines for Business Activity Statements (BAS) and superannuation contributions?

For BAS, the quarterly due dates are 28 October, 28 February, 28 April, and 28 July. For superannuation contributions, the due dates are also 28 October, 28 January, 28 April, and 28 July.