Show download pdf controls
  • General Information about self-assessment

    Attention

    Warning:

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

    End of attention

    How self-assessment affects most individuals

    Self-assessment means the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) uses the information you give in your tax return to work out your refund or tax bill. You are required by law to make sure you have shown all your assessable income and claimed only the deductions and rebates to which you are entitled.

    What are your responsibilities?

    Even if someone else-including a tax agent-helps you to prepare your tax return, you are still legally responsible for the accuracy of the information.

    What if you lodge an incorrect tax return?

    Our computers continually check for missing or wrong information. We have audit programs designed to detect where taxpayers have not declared all of their assessable income or where they have incorrectly claimed deductions or rebates. If you become aware that your tax return is incorrect, you must contact us straightaway.

    Initiatives to complement self-assessment

    There are a number of initiatives administered by the ATO which complement self-assessment. Examples include:

    • a change in penalty provisions so that, if you take reasonable care with your tax affairs, you will not receive a penalty for honest mistakes-but please note that interest on omitted income or overclaimed deductions and rebates could still be payable
    • the process for applying for a private ruling
    • your entitlement to interest on early payment-or overpayment-of a tax debt
    • the process for applying for an amendment if you find you left something out of your tax return.
    Last modified: 23 Dec 2019QC 16138