Your guide to smarter searching

By using the following search tips, you can increase your chances of quickly and easily finding what you need on our website. These search tips are also available in an InfoGraphic (PDF, 932KB).

Some smart rules to remember

  • Keep it simple – common words such as ‘the’ and ‘it’ will not be included in your search.
  • One word says it all – variants of many words are automatically included in your search. For example, a search for 'apply' will return results containing 'applies', 'applying' and 'application'.
  • In any case – remember that search is not case sensitive.

Smart search terms get better results

  • Use a word or a phrase – whichever best fits what you’re looking for.
  • General terms return general information, specific terms return specific information – so searching for ‘tax’ will give you many more results than if you search for ‘capital gains tax’.
  • Choose words carefully – for example, if you’re looking to invest in real estate, instead of searching for ‘buy a house’, try searching for ‘rental property’ or ‘investment property’.
  • Look for your search term in the A to Z list – this list provides key content in alphabetical order, and may help you identify the best term to use in your search.
  • Look for search suggestions as they drop down – these are popular words or phrases other people have used to search our website.
  • Look for content suggestions – these appear for popular content items after the search suggestions. They are identified by "Take me straight to …"

Some even smarter ways to search

  • Use a NAT number or Quick Code (QC) – we put NAT numbers on our print documents and QC codes on our web pages, so you can type these directly into the search area when looking for a form or document. For example, you can search ‘NAT 1006’ for the Fortnightly tax table or ‘QC 16161’ for the Tax File Number declaration.
  • Use the Legal Database to find law, interpretations and policy – you can also filter your results by using the 'all results' drop down menu in the search results area to show results from the Legal Database only.
  • Filter results to your circumstances – use the ‘all results’ drop down menu in the search results area to refine your results. For example, you can select results just for individuals or business, or you can select results that just show forms.
  • Filter results for current or prior years – use the 'date filter' drop down menu in the search results area. By default, your search will show the current documents, but you can use the filter to find documents from previous years.
  • Advanced search for ABN, forms, calculators, tax tables, media releases and order publications – if you search for one of these terms an advanced search box will pop up to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

Still no luck? Try these smart strategies

  • Correct spelling – make sure you have spelt all search terms correctly.
  • Try different search terms – is there another way to describe the information you are searching for?
  • Try more general search terms – taking a step back can sometimes help clarify your search.
  • Check the breadcrumbs – at the end of each search result is a ‘breadcrumb trail’ you can use to find hints about whether the document is the one you need. For example, a search for ‘income tax return’ might give you a breadcrumb trail of ‘forms’ or ‘business/yearly-reports-and-returns’ or ‘non-profit/tax-statements-and-returns’.
  • Use bookmarks – if you know you will be using a specific page or form regularly you can add a bookmark, which will take you directly to the same page each time.

Tell us what you think

If your search results don’t meet your needs, you can let us know using the search experience link at the bottom of every search results page.

    Last modified: 08 Mar 2016QC 45622