• Do you need to lodge a tax return? 2016

    You can work through our Do I need to lodge a tax return? online tool, or review the following information.

    If any of the following applies to you then you must lodge a tax return.

    Reason 1

    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

    During 2015-16, you were an Australian resident and you:

    • paid tax under the pay as you go (PAYG) withholding or instalment system, or
    • had tax withheld from payments made to you.

    Reason 2

    You were eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset, and your rebate income (not including your spouse's) was more than:

    • $32,279 if you were single, widowed or separated at any time during the year
    • $31,279 if you had a spouse but one of you lived in a nursing home or you had to live apart due to illness (see the definition of Had to live apart due to illness in T1 Seniors and pensioners (includes self-funded retirees) 2016), or
    • $28,974 if you lived with your spouse for the full year.

    To work out your rebate income, see Rebate income 2016.

    Reason 3

    You were not eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset but you received a payment listed at question 5 and other taxable payments which when added together made your taxable income more than $20,542.

    Reason 4

    You were not eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset and you did not receive a payment listed at question 5 or question 6, but your taxable income was more than:

    • $18,200 if you were an Australian resident for tax purposes for the full year
    • $416 if you were under 18 years old at 30 June 2016 and your income was not salary or wages
    • $1 if you were a foreign resident and you had income taxable in Australia which did not have non-resident withholding tax withheld from it, or
    • your part-year tax-free threshold amount if you became or stopped being an Australian resident for tax purposes; see question A2 or phone 13 28 61.

    Other reasons

    You must lodge a tax return if any of the following applied to you.

    • You had a reportable fringe benefits amount on your
      • PAYG payment summary - individual non-business, or
      • PAYG payment summary - foreign employment.
    • You had reportable employer superannuation contributions on your
      • PAYG payment summary - individual non-business
      • PAYG payment summary - foreign employment, or
      • PAYG payment summary - business and personal services income.
    • You were entitled to the private health insurance rebate but you did not claim your correct entitlement as a premium reduction, and your spouse (if you had one) is not claiming the rebate for you in their income tax return.
    • You carried on a business.
    • You made a loss or you can claim a loss you made in a previous year.
    • You were 60 years old or older and you received an Australian superannuation lump sum that included an untaxed element or it is a superannuation lump sum death benefit paid to you as a non-dependant.
    • You were under 60 years old and you received an Australian superannuation lump sum that included a taxed element or an untaxed element or it is a superannuation lump sum death benefit paid to you as a non-dependant.
    • You were entitled to a distribution from a trust or you had an interest in a partnership and the trust or partnership carried on a business of primary production.
    • You were an Australian resident for tax purposes and you had exempt foreign employment income and $1 or more of other income.
    • You are a special professional covered by the income averaging provisions. These provisions apply to authors of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, inventors, performing artists, production associates and active sportspeople.
    • You received income from dividends or distributions exceeding $18,200 (or $416 if you were under 18 years old on 30 June 2016) and you had
      • franking credits attached, or
      • amounts withheld because you did not quote your tax file number or Australian business number to the investment body.
    • You made personal contributions to a complying superannuation fund or retirement savings account and will be eligible to receive a super co-contribution for these contributions.
    • You were a liable parent or a recipient parent under a child support assessment unless you received one or more Australian Government allowances, pensions or payments for the whole of the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, and the total of all the following payments was less than $23,752

    Deceased estate

    If you are looking after the estate of someone who died during 2015-16, consider all the above reasons on their behalf. If a tax return is not required, complete the Non-lodgment advice 2016 form and send it to us.

    If a tax return is required, see Completing individual information on your tax return 2016 for more information.

    Franking credits

    If you received franking credits and you don't need to lodge a tax return for 2015–16, you might be eligible to claim a refund of franking credits.

    Non-lodgment advice

    If you have read all the above information and know that you do not have to lodge a tax return, you should complete a Non-lodgment advice and send it to us, unless one of the following applies to you.

    • You have already sent us a tax return, non-lodgment advice, form or letter telling us that you do not need to lodge a tax return for all future years.
    • You are lodging an application for a refund of franking credits for 2016.
    • Your only income was from an allowance or payment listed at question 5 or you received a pension, payment or an allowance listed at question 6, and
      • your rebate income was less than or equal to the relevant amount in reason 2 (if you are eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset), or
      • your taxable income was less than or equal to the relevant amount in reason 3 (the agencies that paid you have provided information for us to determine that you do not need to lodge a tax return).

    A Non-lodgment advice for 2016 can be submitted using our online services. For more information about online services go to ato.gov.au/onlineservices

    Alternatively, complete the Non-lodgment advice form and send it to us.

      Last modified: 26 May 2016QC 48450