submit a tax return

If you lived in Australia between the 1st of July 2021 and the 30th of June 2022 and had an income, you may be required to file a tax return. It is still in your best interest to file a tax return, even if your income was significantly lower this year, in order to determine whether or not you are eligible for a refund.

If you are filing your taxes on your own, you have until the 31st of October to submit your return.

Register your return using myTax online.

MyTax is the free online tax return tool provided by the ATO, and you can use it to lodge your return. In order to submit an online return, you are required to have a myGov account that is linked to the ATO. Returns that are submitted in this manner are typically processed within a span of two weeks.

Using myTax for lodging is simple and completely free. By the end of July, the vast majority of the information requested from employers, banks, government agencies, and health funds will have been automatically incorporated into your tax return. The only thing left for you to do is make sure all of the information is accurate, add any missing or additional income, and include any deductions you are entitled to before hitting the "submit" button. After that, MyTax will figure out your taxes for you.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides "how-to" videos that can assist you in submitting your return via the myTax website.

Put all of your earnings on the table.

The vast majority of your income will be automatically filled in based on the information that the ATO receives from your employer and financial institutions. It's possible that there are other sources of revenue that you need to include.

The following are examples of common forms of income that are required to be declared:

  • employment income
  • reimbursements from the government
  • super pensions and annuities
  • Earnings from investments such as interest, dividends, rent, and gains on capital investments
  • revenue generated through participation in the sharing economy (like that of Uber or Airbnb, for example).
  • compensation and insurance payments
  • earnings from overseas

You can find more information on the income that you are required to declare by visiting the website of the ATO.

Claim your tax deductions

Your overall taxable income might go down if you take advantage of tax deductions.

It's possible that you could get a tax break for the money you spend on things related to your job or investments.  

To be eligible for a deduction for costs associated with work, you must:

  • You must have put the money out of your own pocket, as you were not compensated for it.
  • The expenditure must have a clear connection to the production of the income.
  • You are required to have a record to prove it, typically in the form of a receipt.

If the expense was incurred for both personal and professional reasons, the only portion of the expense that can be deducted is the portion that was incurred for professional reasons.

The following are some examples of common costs associated with work that you might be able to deduct.  

Travel and automobile

When you drive for work, you may be able to deduct the portion of the cost that is related to the use of a car that you own:

  • to and from a different workplace on the same day for the same employer while performing work-related duties
  • between your home and your place of employment in specific cases, such as when you have to transport cumbersome tools and equipment

You are unable to take a deduction for the following:

  • Even if you live a significant distance away from your typical workplace or if you work outside of typical business hours, you should still make your commute to and from home on a regular basis.
  • if your spouse or employer is listed as the lessee on the novated lease for your vehicle, the following applies:

Things to wear and uniforms

If an item of clothing you wear for work qualifies as one of the following categories, you may be able to deduct its cost:

The mandatory work uniform must be identifiable to the employer in order for you to be reimbursed for the cost of purchasing it. You must also be expressly required to wear the uniform by a policy or agreement established at your place of employment.  

You are eligible to take a tax deduction for the cost of protective clothing and footwear if you wear them to work in order to avoid getting hurt or getting sick on the job. The clothing needs to have characteristics or functions that set it apart from regular clothing, such as steel-capped boots. There needs to be a connection between the work-related activities you do, the dangers posed by the environment in which you do your work, and the protective gear you wear.

Associated with a particular profession, trade, vocation, occupation, or calling, clothing that is considered to be occupation-specific is eligible for a tax deduction if it meets the requirements of the category. Take, for instance, the robes worn by judges or the checkered pants worn by chefs. Items that are traditionally worn by a variety of professions are not included here. Take, for instance, the work attire that is worn by tradespeople.  


If the study has a direct bearing on your current position, you might be eligible to receive reimbursement for related expenses. For instance, tuition, textbooks, supplies, internet access, home office costs, and professional journals.

The study needs to keep your skills or knowledge current or improve them, or it needs to have a good chance of increasing your income from your current job. If the purpose of your education is to assist you in finding a new job, you are not eligible for a tax deduction.

The various instruments and apparatuses

If you use the tools or equipment for work-related purposes, you may be able to deduct the cost of those items from your taxable income. In most cases, depreciating assets consist of tools and other equipment. If you paid more than $300 for them, you are only allowed to deduct the amount by which they have decreased in value over the course of owning the asset.  

To assist you in determining what you are eligible to claim and what you are not, the ATO has compiled information about work-related deductions as well as occupation and industry guides.  

Working from one's own house

It's possible that you can get a deduction if you're an employee who works from home most of the time.

For the 2021-22 tax year, you have the option of calculating your deductions for working from home using one of the following three methods:

  • temporary shortcut method (available between the 1st of March 2020 and the 30th of June 2022).
  • method with a fixed rate
  • method based on actual costs

You are free to choose the approach that provides you with the most favorable results as long as you satisfy the prerequisites for eligibility and record-keeping.  

More information on how to calculate expenses when working from home can be found on the ATO website.

The remaining deductions

You are also eligible to claim the following items:

  • union fees
  • expense incurred in the administration of your tax affairs
  • if you do not pay for it through your super fund, you should consider purchasing income protection insurance.
  • personal super contributions you paid to your super fund
  • gifts and donations made to organizations that have been recognized as deductible gift recipients by the Australian Taxation Office.

Investment expenses

It's possible that you'll be able to deduct the expenses associated with generating interest, dividends, or other types of investment income.

Examples include:

  • The cost of using borrowed funds to make financial investments.
  • Expenses related to investment properties
  • purchasing magazine and newspaper subscriptions as an investment
  • money that you paid for advice on investments.

More information regarding deductions for investment income can be obtained from the ATO.

Maintain a record of all of your expenditures.

You need to keep a record to demonstrate that you incurred the expense and how you calculated your claim in order to be eligible for a deduction.  

Keeping track of receipts and entering them into the myDeductions section of the ATO app will make filing your tax return much simpler. You are able to record:

  • expenses and deductions
  • travel by automobile
  • earnings (if you run your business on your own).
  • photographs of your bills and receipts, please.

It is a practical way to organize all of your records in a single location. Then, when it comes time to file your taxes, you can either directly upload the data into your tax return or email a copy of the return to your tax agent.

Employ the services of a tax preparer who is duly licensed.

Make sure to work with a tax preparer who is registered with the government if you would rather have someone else handle your tax return. You are able to check the tax practitioner register to see if the accountant or agent is registered with the government.

The majority of registered agents have special lodgment schedules, which allow them to submit tax returns for their clients later than the deadline of October 31.

Remember that you are responsible for the claims that you make on your tax return, regardless of the method that you choose to use to file it. Before you or your agent submits your tax return, double check that all of your deductions have been properly documented and that you have included every source of income.

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