Our commitment to you

We are committed to providing you with advice and information you can rely on.

We make every effort to ensure that our advice and information is correct. If you follow advice in this publication and it turns out to be incorrect, or it is misleading and you make a mistake as a result, we must still apply the law correctly. If that means you owe us money, we must ask you to pay it. However, we will not charge you a penalty or interest if you acted reasonably and in good faith.

If you make an honest mistake when you try to follow our advice and you owe us money as a result, we will not charge you a penalty. However, we will ask you to pay the money, and we may also charge you interest.

If correcting the mistake means we owe you money, we will pay it to you. We will also pay you any interest you are entitled to.

If you feel this publication does not fully cover your circumstances, please seek help from the Tax Office or a professional adviser.

The information in this publication is current at May 2006. We regularly revise our publications to take account of any changes to the law, so make sure that you have the latest information. If you are unsure, you can check for a more recent version on our website at www.ato.gov.au or phone us on 13 28 61.

How self-assessment affects you

Self-assessment means the Tax Office uses the information you give on your tax return and any related schedules and forms to work out your refund or tax liability. We do not take any responsibility for checking the accuracy of the details you provide, although our system automatically checks the arithmetic.

Although we do not check the accuracy of your tax return at the time of processing, at a later date we may examine the details more thoroughly by reviewing specific parts, or by conducting an audit of your tax affairs. We also have a number of audit programs that are designed to continually check for missing, inaccurate or incomplete information.

What are your responsibilities?



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

End of attention

It is your responsibility to lodge a tax return that is signed, complete and correct. Even if someone else - including a tax agent - helps you to prepare your tax return and any related schedules, you are still legally responsible for the accuracy of your information.

What if you lodge an incorrect tax return?

If you become aware that your tax return is incorrect, you must contact us straight away.

Initiatives to complement self-assessment

There are a number of systems and entitlements that complement self-assessment, including:

  • the private ruling system
  • the amendment system (if you find you have left something out of your tax return)
  • your entitlement to interest on early payment or over-payment of a tax debt.

Do you need to ask for a private ruling?

If you are uncertain about how a tax law applies to your personal tax affairs, you can ask for a private ruling. To do this, complete a Private ruling application form (non-tax professionals) (NAT 13742-01.2006), or phone us on 13 28 61.

Lodge your tax return by the due date, even if you are waiting for the response to your application. You may need to request an amendment to your tax return once you have received the private ruling.

We publish all private rulings on our website. (Before we publish we edit the text to remove information that would identify you.)

Last modified: 30 Jul 2006QC 27786