• Voluntary disclosures - approved form

    We encourage people to review the information that they provide, especially in tax returns and activity statements.

    If you have made a mistake or left something out when you gave us information about your tax affairs, you may wish to make a voluntary disclosure. A voluntary disclosure gives you the opportunity to bring your tax affairs into order. For example, if you have not disclosed all of your income and later discover that you should have, you can make a voluntary disclosure to report that unreported income. You need to provide enough information for us to work out the shortfall amount.

    If you make a voluntary disclosure, penalties may be reduced depending on the timing – the earlier the better – and in some cases on whether it saves us significant time and resources.

    The voluntary disclosure has to be 'in the approved form'. There often isn't an actual form to fill in. 'In the approved form' means you must:

    • give us the information we require to work out what the error or correct position is
    • provide the information in the required manner, such as by letter, through an approved ATO electronic channel, or (in limited circumstances) by phone or face-to-face
    • ensure that it contains a declaration signed by you or your authorised person.

    If you would like another person such as a friend, family member or tax agent to make a voluntary disclosure on your behalf, they must be listed as an authorised contact on your account.

    There are a number of circumstances where a disclosure is not a voluntary disclosure, such as agreeing with a shortfall amount that the ATO has already told you about, or answering questions.

    Additionally, merely providing general information or invoices is not a voluntary disclosure, and nor is saying that you don't understand the law. In these situations please work with us to provide more information.

    Next steps:

    See also:

      Last modified: 27 Oct 2016QC 20438