Individuals, Sole Traders, Partnerships, Trusts, Companies and Self-Managed Superfunds
If lodging the tax return through a tax agent and your previous tax return was lodged on time
For those who lodge the tax return through a tax agent the due date for lodgment is 15 May of the year following the relevant tax year. For example, the tax return for the 2013 financial year (being the period from 01/07/2012 - 30/06/2013) is due for lodgment by 15/05/2014 for those who are in this category.
- First Tax Return - Due date is 28 February of the year following the relevant tax year
- Subsequent Tax Returns - The same as all other tax returns
NB: A SMSF must have its Tax Return audited before it can be lodged with the ATO. The audit is not undertaken by the ATO (although the ATO can later choose to audit a SMSF) but by an approved private auditor. We send all SMSF tax returns to be audited prior to lodgment as part of our service of preparing SMSF tax returns.
Not lodging the tax return through a tax agent, or using a Tax Agent but your previous tax return was lodged late
The due date for lodgment is 31 October. For example, the tax return for the 2013 financial year (being the period from 01/07/2012 - 30/06/2013) is due for lodgment by 31/10/2013 for those who are in this category.
Failure to lodge a tax return on time may result in a penalty of up to $550.
For more information about ATO due dates, please click here.
Business Activity Statements and Income Activity Statements (also known as a BAS or IAS)
These documents are used to report various taxes and either make a payment or receive a refund depending on your circumstances.
The items that you may be reporting through these documents include:
- PAYG Withholding (this is tax that has been withheld from your employees' take-home pay and paid instead to the ATO. The employees' tax return results will be credited by these amounts. This is the system primarily responsible for wage earners receiving refunds).
- PAYG Instalments
- Fuel Tax Credits for heavy offroad trucks and industrial plant
- Other government credits (very rare among our clients)
The ATO will issue an Activity Statement at the end of every Quarter (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec). The document will be available on your business portal and you will need a digital key to access it. The due date for each quarter's payment is the 28th day of the following month except for the Oct-Dec quarter.
The due dates are:
- The Jan-Mar Activity Statement is due on 28 April
- The Apr-Jun Activity Statement is due on 28 July
- The Jul-Sep Activity Statement is due on 28 October
- The Oct-Dec Activity Statement is due on 28 February
The activity statement can be lodged by the business owner through the portal or we can lodge it on your behalf through our tax agent portal or compliance software.
If as a result of your previously lodged tax return, you incurred an income tax bill, the ATO will estimate your next tax return's tax bill and will try to ensure that you pay it in advance in quarterly payments known as PAYG Instalments. When you lodge that next tax return the total instalment that have been paid towards it will be credited against your tax result thereby reducing your tax bill or increasing your tax refund.
You will receive a document called an Activity Statement or a PAYG Instalment Notice at the end of every Quarter (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec). The due date for each quarter's payment is the 28th day of the following month. Therefore the due dates are: 28 Apr, 28 Jul, 28 Oct, 28 Jan.
PAYG Payment Summaries
These documents report the total remuneration paid to each payee (ie an employee or a superfund member). They also contain some of the payee's personal information. It is a legal requirement that an employer provide a copy to the relevant payee as well as to the ATO. Some employer's report this data to the ATO electronically and others use a paper form.
The due date to provide this document to the payee is 14 July (14 days after the end of the relevant financial year), or no later than 14 days after the termination of employment.
The due date to provide this document (whether electronically or in paper form) to the ATO is 14 August (45 days after the end of the relevant financial year).
If your payee requests their PAYG Payment Summary from you in writing prior to 9 June, you must provide it to them within 14 days of receiving their request.
PAYG Payment Summary Statement
This document summarises all of the PAYG Payment Summaries that you have issued in the relevant financial year.
The due date to provide this document (whether electronically or in paper form) to the ATO is 14 August (45 days after the end of the relevant financial year) if lodging yourself or 30 September if using a Tax Agent.
Closely Held Entities
Extension to the due date for lodgement of PAYG Payment Summaries and PAYG withholding payment summary statement for "Closely Held Entities".
Employers in this category will be required to lodge the PAYG Payment Summaries and PAYG withholding payment summary statement by the earlier of: The due date of the employer's tax return, or the lodgement date of that tax return (for example if your due date to lodge the tax return was 15 May 2014 but you lodged it on 20 March 2014 then the due date for these PAYG documents is 20 March 2014) .
- Only have closely held payees: A closely held payee is one who is a non-arms length payee. This means they are directly related to the entity from which they receive wages (for example: family members of a family business, directors and shareholders of a company, beneficiaries of a trust).
- Lodge the previous tax return before 30 June of the year following that tax return and not receive a failure to lodge penalty: For example, in order for the employer to get this extension for these PAYG documents for their 2013 financial year they needed to have lodged their 2012 tax return by the dates mentioned. So if the due date for the 2012 tax return was 15 May 2013 and the employer lodged their 2012 tax return by 15 May 2013 then they will meet this condition.
Failure to lodge the PAYG Payment Summaries and PAYG withholding payment summary statement to the ATO on time may result in a penalty of up to $550.
If you have paid wages of more than $450 per month ($1350 per Quarter) to an employee you must also pay superannuation. For 2015 financial year, the rate to pay is 9.5% of ordinary time earnings. This amount is paid directly to the employee's superannuation fund, and is payable by the 28th day following the end of the quarter in which wages were paid.
The due dates for payment are:
- Super on wages paid during Jan-Mar is due on 28 April
- Super on wages paid during Apr-Jun is due on 28 July
- Super on wages paid during Jul-Sep is due on 28 October
- Super on wages paid during Oct-Dec is due on 28 January
Late superannuation payments are not tax deductible and are subject to penalties and strict administrative payment proceedures. They can only be paid by way of a Superannuation Guarantee Surcharge Statement, through the ATO. If you have unpaid super, the best thing to do is to inform us immediately so that we can reduce the penalties accruing. Please let us know if you need us to prepare the necessary forms and we will provide you with a quote for this service. Please click here for information on super eligibility.
Workers Compensation Insurance
If you are paying wages totalling more than $7500 including super, you need to pay workers compensation insurance. We can't advise which insurer you should use, however we have found them to be very similar. Simply Google "workers compensation insurance" and the first few search results will be for insurance providers. If you don't pay enough workers compensation insurance you may be heavily penalised.
For more information about worker's compensation and what is deemed as wages for the purpose of worker's compensation, please follow this link.
ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission)
Making changes to a company's ASIC register
ASIC stores information relating to the company such as the company name, date of registration (also known as the date of Incorporation), physical address, postal address for correspondence from ASIC, the company structure and personal information relating to the shareholders (also known as members) and the directors. When any of these details change you need to inform ASIC within 28 days of the change otherwise you will be penalised.
Annual ASIC Review fee
Every company has an annual review date (the anniversary of its incorporation). Soon after its annual review date, we issue each registered company with an annual statement and an invoice statement for the company’s annual review fee. This fee needs to be paid within 2 months of the company's anniversary otherwise you will be penalised.
We will not take any responsibility for your failure to pay your annual ASIC fee regardless of the reason.
The Corporations Act states that it is the responsibility of a director of a company to pay the annual fees on time regardless of whether they are notified by ASIC or an ASIC Agent (us). We don't provide a reminder service for these payments but we do try, as a matter of goodwill, to send you the annual ASIC statements on time. But sometimes this is not possible due to our compliance software being down, emails being sent to spam folders rather than inboxes or letters that we post somehow don't make it to our clients. Unfortunately while ASIC officially accepts some of these reasons in order to waive late fees, their requirements of proving that these incidents happen are, in our experience, unrealistic. Therefore you must not rely on us or ASIC to receive the Annual Review Invoice. To avoid being fined, you can set up a yearly scheduled Bpay transfer to ASIC of $270 (this is more than the fee itself, but will cover annual fee increases). You can also prepay next year's fees. For companies who are registered with ASIC as having the sole purpose of acting as a trustee for a SMSF the ASIC Annual Review fee is currently $43 but may also increase.