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  • Completing your 2021 individual income tax return

    To lodge your 2021 tax return by mail, you can use the paper Tax return for individuals and the Individuals tax return instructions.

    If you do not need to lodge a tax return for the 2020–21 income year, you will need to notify us of this. For more information, refer to Non-lodgment advice 2021.

    If you are required to complete the Business and professional items schedule you should lodge your tax return using myTax or a registered tax agent. This will affect you if any of the following applied in 2020–21:

    • you were a partner in a partnership that made a loss
    • you received income for personal services you provided as a sole trader
    • you derived income or incurred a loss from any business
    • you conducted a business activity that resulted in a loss.

    To lodge online using myTax, refer to Lodge your tax return online with myTax.

    If you are unable to use myTax or a registered tax agent, contact us on 13 28 66 and we will mail you a paper tax return and Business and Professional items schedule.

    Individual tax return instructions supplement



    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

    End of attention

    The supplementary section of the tax return contains items that are used by a relatively small number of taxpayers. To find out whether you will need these instructions, refer to Will you need the Individual tax return instructions supplement?

    For comprehensive information about the questions asked in the supplementary section of your tax return, refer to Supplementary tax return.

    Other schedules

    Referred publications

    Not everything can be covered in Individual tax return instructions. Sometimes, you will be referred to other publications that will help you to understand your tax obligations and complete your tax return. Some publications are essential to complete some items.

    All the publications and rulings referred to in Individual tax return instructions are listed in Referred publications 2021.

    Tax rates and calculations

    If you wish to calculate the amount of your refund or debt, you can use the following tools:

    Contact us

    Phone the ATO

    You can phone the ATO if you need assistance with a question in Individual tax return instructions 2021 or Individual tax return instructions supplement 2021, or another matter concerning your tax affairs. If you decide to phone us, please have the instructions handy.

    Next step:

    Ask for a taxation ruling

    If you have a complex enquiry about your tax affairs, you may want to ask for a private ruling.

    A private ruling relates only to your particular situation. Your tax return should reflect what the private ruling says. You may need to change your tax return if you lodge it before you receive your private ruling.

    The ATO publishes all private rulings on its internet site. What we publish will not contain anything which could identify you.

    You can ask for a review of your private ruling if you disagree with it even if you have not yet received your assessment. You can find out more about objection procedures from the ATO branch that made your ruling.

    Next step:

    Oral rulings

    The ATO provides oral rulings on non-complex individual non-business enquiries.

    You can apply for an oral ruling by phone. To do so you will need to confirm your identity. Your tax file number and most recent notice of assessment will usually be sufficient proof of identity.

    We will confirm your eligibility for an oral ruling by asking you a series of questions to confirm that your enquiry is eligible to be ruled on.

    To get further information on oral rulings, or to apply for a ruling, phone us on 13 28 61.

    Last modified: 27 May 2021QC 64798