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  • Get ready to do your tax – Easier-to-read information

    This easier-to-read document is a summary of another document.

    You can find the longer document at www.ato.gov.au/LodgeMyReturn

    Do you need to do a tax return?

    Most people that earn money need to do a tax return.

    We use the tax return to check if people paid the right amount of tax.

    We have an online tool which can help you work out if you need to do a tax return.

    You can find the tool at www.ato.gov.au/ShouldILodge

    If you have trouble using this tool you can:

    • ask someone you trust for help
    • phone us on 13 28 61.

    The tool may say you do not need to do a tax return.

    It may say you need to send us another form called a non-lodgment advice.

    You can follow the instructions in the tool to help you.

    When do you need to do your tax?

    You need to do your tax return before 31 October if you are:

    • doing your own tax
    • using Tax Help.

    If you use a tax agent you may have more time, but you must talk to them before 31 October.

    When is the best time to do your tax?

    The best time to do your tax is in late July.

    We will have saved more information in your tax return.

    This information comes from places like:

    • businesses you work for
    • government
    • banks
    • health insurance companies.

    This will save you time and help you avoid mistakes.

    Information you need

    Before you start your tax return you need to get together some information.

    Your TFN

    • You need to have your tax file number or TFN.
    • Your TFN is your personal identification number in our tax system.
    • If you do not have a TFN you need to apply. Find out how at www.ato.gov.au/tfn

    Your bank account details

    • You will need your bank account details.
    • If we work out you will get a tax refund we will send it to your bank account.

    Information about your income

    Income is the money you get from:

    • working, including being paid in cash
    • the government, like Centrelink benefits
    • investments, like money from shares or bank account interest
    • property you rented or sold to other people
    • pensions or investments overseas.

    You need information about your income for the 12 months of the financial year (1 July to 30 June).

    You can get this information from:

    • income statements or payslips from your employer
    • a Centrelink payment summary
    • bank or share dividend statements.

    Remember, some of this information may be pre-filled in your tax return.

    Information about your deductions

    Deductions are about money you spent on certain things.

    We take this money away from your income before we work out how much tax you need to pay.

    This means you pay less tax.

    Some examples of deductions are:

    • you had to buy tools or special clothing to help you do your job
    • you gave money to charity
    • you have a partner who you support
    • you have private health insurance
    • you spent money looking after a rental property you own.

    You need information about your deductions for the 12 months of the financial year (1 July to 30 June).

    You need to have records of the money you spent. These records can be receipts or invoices.

    Remember, some of this information may be pre-filled in your tax return.

    What happens after you do your tax return?

    We use your information to work out:

    • if you paid too much tax – if so, we will give you some money back. We call this a tax refund.
    • if you did not pay enough tax – if so, you will need to pay more. We call this a tax debt.

    Make it easier next year

    If you keep your records from the start of each year it will be easier to do your tax.

    Keep your records together in a safe place and keep them for 5 years.

    We have the myDeductions tool in the ATO app.

    You can use it to take photos of your records.

    You can use the app to upload the photos to us if we ask you for them.

    Find out more at www.ato.gov.au/app

    How to get help

    If you need help getting ready to do your tax you can:

    What to do next

    Once you have all your information ready you can lodge your tax.

    We have an Easy Read document called 'How to do your tax'.

    You can find it at www.ato.gov.au/DoYourTax_EasyRead