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  • Include all your income

    When you do your tax return, include all the income you received during the financial year. This includes salary, wages, payments from Centrelink, business income and bank interest.

    If you accessed your super due to COVID-19, you:

    • don't need to pay tax on this
    • don't need to include it in your tax return.

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    Income from your job

    Report your salary and wages as shown in your income statement. You find this by clicking through to the ATO from myGov. We will automatically include information from your income statement in your tax return for you. Wait for your employer to mark your income statement as ‘tax ready’. They should have done this by 31 July.

    If you have more than one employer, you may receive several income statements or both a payment summary and an income statement. You will need to check that income from your payment summaries is included in your tax return.

    If you lodge your tax return before your income statement is marked 'tax ready', your employer might make changes and you may need to lodge an amendment to make these changes to your tax return.

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    If you take leave, are temporarily stood down or lose your job and receive a payment from your employer, there are different tax rules that may apply for the different payments.

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    JobKeeper payment

    JobKeeper payments are treated the same as your usual salary or wages from your employer. If you receive JobKeeper as an employee, it will be included in your income statement as either salary and wages or as an allowance, depending on your circumstances. We will automatically include this information from your income statement in your tax return for you. For most people this will occur by the end of July.

    If you’re a sole trader who has received JobKeeper payments, you need to include the payments as business income in your individual tax return. If your business is a partnership, trust or company, and you received JobKeeper payments, you don’t need to include it as assessable income in your individual tax return – but you need to report it as part of your business income.

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    Insurance payouts

    You need to include income protection, sickness and accident insurance payments, in your tax return. The instructions in myTax explain how to include these amounts.

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    Insurance payouts for damaged or destroyed personal items are not taxed. For example, any insurance payout you receive for your family home is not taxed. Insurance payouts for businesses or income-producing assets may be taxed.

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    Government payments

    It is important to include any government payments that you receive in your tax return.

    JobSeeker is a taxable payment and it needs to be included in your tax return.

    We will automatically include JobSeeker payments in your tax return at the 'Australian Government allowances and payments' section by early July. If you lodge your tax return before this information is included, you will need to include the amount of JobSeeker you received at the ‘Australian Government allowances and payments’ section of your tax return. Your JobSeeker payments will be included in your Centrelink payment summary.

    However, if you receive a refund from the Services Australia income compliance program, you or your tax agent don't need to take any action for tax purposes. You:

    • will not be taxed on this amount
    • don't include it in your tax return
    • don't have to submit an amendment for a prior year tax return.

    Submitting an amendment may affect your assessable tax income and any repayment amounts. If you need to lodge an amendment for other reasons, contact us or your tax agent for assistance.

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    COVID-19 support payments

    If you received any of the following grants or payments, it is counted as assessable income and you need to declare it:

    • New South Wales Government Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant
    • South Australian Government $10,000 Emergency Cash Grants for Small Businesses
    • South Australian Government Job Accelerator Grant Scheme
    • Victorian Government Business Support Fund
    • Payments under the Northern Territory Government Small Business Survival Fund
    • Northern Territory Government Business Improvement Grant
    • Western Australian Government Small Business Grant Scheme.

    You don't have to pay goods and services tax (GST) on grant funding unless you provided something of value in return for the payment.

    Disaster assistance payments

    If you're experiencing financial hardship as a result of a disaster, you may receive a relief payment from:

    • local, state or federal government agencies
    • a charity or community group
    • your employer.

    If you receive a Disaster Recovery Payment (DRP), it will be treated as exempt income. You don't pay tax on the DRP amount, but you need to include it in your tax return when you work out your tax loss.

    Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) and Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) payments are generally taxable. However, the government may declare that, for some natural disasters, DRA and NDRRA payments are exempt income. You don't pay tax on exempt income but you need to include the amount in your tax return when you work out your tax loss.

    You are not required to pay tax on the following payments made in relation to the 2019–20 bushfires (don't include them in your tax return):

    • a payment made on or after 1 January 2020 by a State or Territory for loss of income as a result of you performing volunteer work with a fire service of a State or Territory during 2019–20
    • Disaster Recovery Allowance
    • Ex-gratia disaster income support allowance for special category visa (subclass 444) holders
    • payments by a State or Territory under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements 2018External Link

    Emergency assistance in the form of gifts from family and friends is not taxable.

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    Pre-fill information

    To make lodging your tax return easy, we can automatically include (pre-fill) your income and other information into your tax return for you. This information comes from organisations such as employers, banks, health funds and government agencies.

    Most information is sent to us by late July, but many organisations send us their information much earlier. If you usually do your own tax return, we will send you a message through myGov when that information is available.

    We recommend lodging when all your information is ready. That way, you can be sure the information is complete and up to date. If you submit incorrect information, it may delay processing your tax return or you may need to repay amounts later.

    You can also upload your records from the myDeductions tool to pre-fill your tax return in myTax.

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    Rental income

    You need to report all the rental income you have received; this includes a back payment of rent or an amount of insurance for lost rent. If you need to reduce the rental amount to enable your tenants to remain in the property, your deductions will not be reduced if you continue to incur normal expenses on your property, you will still be able to claim these expenses in your tax return.

    Insurance payouts for businesses or income-producing assets may be taxed.

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    Sharing economy income

    The sharing economy is economic activity through a digital platform (such as a website or an app) where people share assets or services for a fee. Income you earn from the sharing economy is assessable and needs to be reported in your tax return. Popular sharing economy activities include:

    • providing ride-sourcing (also known as ride-sharing) services for a fare, through platforms such as Uber, Hi Oscar, Shebah or GoCatch
    • renting out a room or a whole house or unit on a short-term basis, through platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway or Flipkey
    • sharing assets, including cars, caravans/RVs, car parking spaces, storage space or personal belongings, through platforms such as Camplify, Car Next Door, Spacer, Toolmates or Quipmo
    • providing personal services, including creative or professional services like graphic design, creating websites, or odd jobs like deliveries and furniture assembly, through platforms such as OneFlare, Mad Paws or Hark Hark.

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      Last modified: 15 Oct 2020QC 62802