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  • Taxation statistics - frequently asked questions

    These frequently asked questions (FAQs) answer the most common questions we get from users and provide tips on how to find specific information.

    Q1 How do I find the information I need in current and previous year taxation statistics?

    Q2 Where is the 100 People presentation?

    Q3 Can I obtain estimates or forecasts?

    Q4 Which statistics are based on income year reporting and which are based on financial year reporting?

    Q5 Why do statistics from previous years change in the detailed tables?

    Q6 Why is some information or data not available in all tables or all years?

    Q7 Why are numbers in the yearly taxation statistics different to numbers in other publications?

    Q8 Can I request statistics, tables or information not included in the publication?

    Q9 How can I provide feedback?

    Q1 How do I find the information I need in current and previous year taxation statistics?

    The reports

    The current and previous year reports of ATO taxation statistics are available on ato.gov.au.

    In previous years our taxation statistics were also published as a book with an accompanying disk. For the 2011-12 statistics, the information is on the website only.

    Finding specific information:

    • If the information you are after is not in the summary tables refer to the detailed statistical tables.
    • Refer to the detailed table indexes. Each of our yearly reports of taxation statistics has various indexes listing
      • the different tax items, such as net tax or taxable income
      • the particular detailed tables these items appear in.
       
    • If you are seeking a particular table from a previous edition of taxation statistics and cannot find it in the latest edition, refer to our 'Where the 2010–11 tables are now' guide to finding 2010–11 tables in the 2011–12 report.
    • Previous editions of taxation statistics are also available online and can still be ordered as a book along with the disk that contains the detailed statistical tables.

     

    Q2 Where is the 100 People presentation?

    The 100 People presentation uses animation to represent all Australian individual taxpayers as one hundred people. This visual display and accompanying text relates to data contained in the 2008-09 report of taxation statistics.

     

    Find out more

    Taxation statistics: 100 people presentation

    End of find out more

    Q3 Can I obtain estimates or forecasts?

    No. We can only provide statistics and information on past income, financial or fringe benefits tax years. Requests for estimates and forecasts should be directed to the Treasury department.

    Q4 Which statistics are based on income year reporting and which are based on financial year reporting?

    Most of our statistics are based on processed income tax returns, including:

    • individuals, companies and super funds
    • partnerships and trusts
    • capital gains tax
    • fringe benefits tax (for the FBT year)
    • cost of taxation compliance
    • industry benchmarks (financial ratios).

    Some of our statistics are based on liabilities relating to the most recent financial year. These include:

    • goods and services tax (GST)
    • wine equalisation tax (WET)
    • luxury car tax (LCT)
    • petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT)
    • excise and fuel schemes
    • pay as you go withholding and instalments
    • industry benchmarks (activity statement ratios)

    When we reach our income year processing cut-off date of 31 October in the year following the income year, the financial year based statistics for the year ahead have already been collected and can also be included in the current taxation statistics report.

    Additionally, a small number of our statistics contain information relating to both income and financial years.

    Q5 Why do statistics from previous years change in the detailed tables?

    In our detailed tables, statistics for prior years are updated for the two preceding years, and change due to lodgments, amendments or cancellations received and processed after the cut-off date of the previous yearly report.

    For the taxation statistics reports from 1999-2000 to 2004-05, we generally only updated the two previous income years for our statistics.

    For the taxation statistics reports from 2005-06 to 2010-11, most years back to 1990 were updated where data was available. For the 2011-12 edition, generally only data for the previous two years has been updated. The notes to each detailed table will identify the currency of the data included within.

    We recommend you exercise caution when comparing the statistics of the current and previous income years due to:

    • changes in legislation from year to year (such as changing income tax rates or thresholds)
    • additional (late) lodgments and amendments received after the cut-off date.

    For this reason the previous year data in summary tables is not updated; to allow for a quick year on year (point-in-time) comparison to be undertaken.

    Q6 Why is some information or data not available in all tables or all years?

    Changes in tax legislation or policies can introduce or remove information contained on return forms. As a result, the statistics and information we report in our taxation statistics can change, be removed or replaced by new information.

    Our adherence to privacy laws also influences the information we are able to include in each report.

    Q7 Why are numbers in the yearly taxation statistics different to numbers in other publications?

    There are several reasons why numbers in the taxation statistics may be different to numbers in other ATO, government or non-government publications.

    Difference in cut-off processing dates

    To compile the statistics reported in our yearly taxation statistics tables, we choose a cut-off date of 31 October of the following year, allowing 16 months for majority of returns to have been lodged and processed.

    Any return forms processed, or amendments made after this cut-off date are not included in the statistics shown in the report for that year.

    If a different cut-off date is chosen for another ATO publication, it is likely that the statistics reported would be different from the statistics we report in our yearly taxation statistics, even if they refer to the same income, financial or FBT year.

    Difference in the definition of terms

    Other publications may define certain terms differently. For example, in our yearly taxation statistics report an individual's total income includes income from different sources - salary and wages, foreign income, rental income, pensions, government benefits and so forth. In other publications an individual's income may refer only to salary and wages.

    Difference in how an item is calculated

    Other publications and reports may use different formulae in calculating certain items also reported in our taxation statistics.

    Q8 Can I request statistics, tables or information not included in the publication?

    We put our resources into the annual preparation of the taxation statistics report. We do not have the resources to undertake research and quality assurance to separately answer ad-hoc requests that are not covered by this report.

    However, every year before we prepare the taxation statistics report, we look at all the requests for data that we have received. To register your data request for consideration in future publications, please send an email to taxstats@ato.gov.au

    Q9 How can I provide feedback?

    You can provide feedback or comments on our yearly taxation statistics report by emailing your comments to taxstats@ato.gov.au

      Last modified: 29 Apr 2014QC 17995