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    Personal tax chapter

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    This chapter provides information about individuals, as reported on their income tax returns. A tax return is a form used to disclose income, tax withheld, deductions and/or tax offsets for an income year. An individual is required to lodge an income tax return for many reasons. Two of the more common reasons are if they paid tax during the year, or if their taxable income exceeded certain amounts.

    The purpose of the tax return is to calculate the difference between the tax withheld during the year and the amount of tax actually due. This results in either a refund or an amount payable.

    Individuals have from 1 July to 31 October to lodge their tax return, unless it is prepared by a registered tax agent. In this case, the deadline may be extended under the particular tax agent's lodgment program for that year of income, but generally not later than 15 May in the following calendar year.

    Individuals generally receive most of their income from salary or wages, Australian Government pensions and benefits, or investments. They may also have business income or business losses.

    Overview

    For the 2008-09 income year:

    • 12.3 million individuals lodged income tax returns, a decrease of 349,052 from 2007-08
    • tax agents submitted 71.2% (8.8 million) of tax returns, and 18.8% (2.3 million) were submitted using e-tax
    • individuals declared total income of $583.8 billion, including $441.6 billion in salary and wages, an increase of 0.1% and 2.3% respectively over 2007-08
    • individuals claimed net rental income of -$6.5 billion, including $32.6 billion in rental deductions
    • individuals claimed $31.7 billion in total deductions, including $16.4 billion in work-related expenses
    • there were 10.7 million individuals claiming tax offsets and credits totalling $24.7 billion, including $12.4 billion in refundable credits and offsets
    • individuals had taxable income of $554.2 billion, an increase of 0.5% over 2007-08, and net tax payable of $115.7 billion, plus $1.2 billion payable for higher education loan debt repayments
    • individuals declared $118.6 billion in tax that was paid or withheld prior to lodging their tax return on income received during the income year
    • individuals were entitled to $12.4 billion in refundable tax offsets and credits, an increase of 6.6% over 2007-08
    • individuals had $24.1 billion refunded or otherwise paid out after they lodged their income tax return, and $9.9 billion was required to be paid by other individuals to meet their annual tax liabilities.
     
      Last modified: 18 Oct 2011QC 23907