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  • Work out if you need to lodge a tax return

    To work out if you need to lodge a tax return, there are several things to consider. Use our Do I need to lodge a tax return tool to check if you need to lodge. Most people need to lodge a tax return each year.

    On this page:

    Options to work out if you need to lodge

    If you have a myGov account linked to the ATO, you can access an authenticated version of the Do I need to lodge tool in ATO online services. This version is available for the 2018–19 income year onwards. It can give you a more accurate result because it uses data third parties (such as employers) report to us. It also uses information we already know about you from your myGov account.

    To use this version, you will need to sign in to your myGov account then:

    • select, ATO from your linked services:
    • from the menu select Tax
    • from the dropdown list select Lodgments
    • then select Income tax, this will take you to Not lodged
    • under the heading 'Outcomes' select: Do I need to lodge? for the relevant income year.

    Alternatively, you can use the web version of the tool, Do I need to lodge a tax return? It is available for the current income year and prior income years back to 2013–14.

    If you don't already have a myGov account, to access and use our online services you will need to create an account. Then link your myGov account to the ATO.

    Next step:

    When you do and don't need to lodge

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

    • had tax withheld from any payments (such as wages) made to you during the income year
    • are an Australian resident and your taxable income was more than the tax-free threshold ($18,200)
    • are a foreign resident and you earned more than $1 in Australia during the income year
    • are leaving Australia forever or for more than one income year
    • wish to claim any tax deductions
    • are a foreign resident with a study or training support loan
    • are a liable or recipient parent under a child support assessment for the whole income year and your income was $26,319 or more.

    You do not need to lodge an Australian tax return if:

    • you are a foreign resident and your only Australian-sourced income was interest, dividends or royalties and you paid the correct amount of non-resident withholding tax
    • you are a working holiday maker (417 or 462 visa holder) and your taxable income for the year is less than $45,001.

    See also:

    Taking action on the result

    If you need to lodge, find out more about your lodgment options:

    If you don’t need to lodge, you usually still need to let us know by:

    See also:

    Last modified: 24 May 2021QC 32119