• Income tax return

    What you need to report and how you lodge the annual income tax return for your business depends on your type of business entity.

    On this page:

    Sole traders

    If you operate your business as a sole trader, you must lodge the following (even if your income is below the tax-free threshold):

    • tax return for individuals including the supplementary section
    • business and professional items schedule for individuals.

    In your return, report your taxable income or loss. This includes:

    • your assessable business income less the business deductions you can claim
    • any other assessable income, such as salary and wages (shown on a payment summary), dividends and rental income, less any allowable deductions against this income.

    Partnerships and partners

    If you operate your business as a partnership:

    • the partnership lodges a partnership tax return, to report the partnership's net income (assessable income less allowable expenses and deductions)
    • the individual partners each lodge a tax return for individuals.

    The partnership doesn't pay income tax on the income it earns. Instead, you and each of the partners pay tax on the share of net partnership income they receive.

    As an individual partner, you report on your individual tax return:

    • your share of any partnership net income or loss
    • any other assessable income, such as salary and wages (shown on a payment summary), dividends and rental income.

    Trusts and beneficiaries

    If you operate your business as a trust:

    • the trustee lodges a trust tax return, and
    • each trust beneficiary lodges an individual tax return.

    The trust reports its net income or loss. This is the trust's income less expenses and deductions.

    As a trust beneficiary, you report the following on your individual tax return:

    • any income you receive from the trust
    • any other assessable income, such as salary and wages (shown on a payment summary), dividends and rental income.

    Companies

    If you operate your business as a company, you need to lodge a company tax return.

    The company reports its taxable income, tax offsets and credits, PAYG instalments and the amount of tax it is liable to pay on that income or the amount that is refundable.

    The company's income is separate from your personal income.

    When to lodge

    If you operate your business as a sole trader (individual in business), partnership or trust, your tax returns are due by 31 October.

    If you operate your business through a company and you lodge the company tax return yourself, you need to check the due date. Generally the lodgment and payment dates for small companies is 28 February. If you have any prior year returns outstanding, the due date will be 31 October.

    If you lodge through a registered tax agent, they’ll tell you when to lodge.

    How to lodge

    Individual return

    The quickest way to lodge your individual tax return is online.

    You don't have to work out the amount of tax you are liable to pay – we'll do this and issue you with an assessment showing either the amount of tax you have to pay or your refund. If you've paid PAYG instalments during the income year, we'll credit these instalments to you in your assessment.

    Partnership return

    Trust return

    Companies

    See also:

    Last modified: 30 Jul 2015QC 31999