Your obligations

We expect you to:

Being truthful

The tax and superannuation systems are based on you providing complete and accurate information. This includes:

  • providing correct information on your tax returns, activity statements and other documents
  • providing the full facts and circumstances when you seek advice
  • answering questions completely, accurately and honestly.

See also:

Keeping the required records

The law sets out the records you must keep.

Keeping good records allows you to prepare accurate tax returns, activity statements and other documents as well as helping you keep track of your financial affairs. Generally, your records must be in English and you must keep them for five years.

We publish a range of information on record keeping for different situations. If you would like more information, visit our website or contact us.

See also:

Taking reasonable care

You must take reasonable care that you provide complete and accurate information in your tax returns, activity statements and other documents. This means you must take the amount of care that a reasonable person in your circumstances would take to meet their obligations.

You are responsible for your affairs even if someone else, including a registered agent, helps you.

See also:

Lodging by the due date

Tax returns, activity statements and a number of other documents and information must be lodged by certain dates. If you are having difficulty complying with these dates, contact us before the document or information is due. Based on your circumstances, we may be able to give you extra time to lodge.

Even if you cannot pay the amount owing you should still lodge your tax return or activity statement on time. We may be able to allow you extra time to pay (see 'Paying by the due date').

Penalties may apply if you do not lodge on time.

Paying by the due date

You must pay the taxes and other amounts you owe by the due date. If you are having difficulty doing this, contact us as soon as possible - preferably before the due date – to discuss your situation. It may be possible to give you extra time to pay without interest charge or to negotiate an arrangement to pay by instalments. If we do enter into such an arrangement, you will normally have to pay interest on the late payment.

See also:

Being cooperative

We prefer to work with you cooperatively, providing you with help to meet your obligations voluntarily. However, if you are uncooperative or obstructive, we may need to take firmer action. For example, we have formal access and information gathering powers that we use if necessary. People who are obstructive may even be prosecuted.

We ask that you treat us with the same courtesy, consideration and respect we are expected to give you. If we are subjected to rude or abusive behaviour, we may end an interview or phone call.

    Last modified: 05 Jan 2016QC 18266