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  • Including all your income is important

    When you do your tax return, you must include all the income you received during the financial year. This includes salary, wages, payments from Centrelink, business income, bank interest, dividends, partnership and trust distributions, and some other types of income.

    If you have received access to your superannuation due to COVID-19, you will not need to pay tax on these amounts and will not need to include these amounts in your tax return.

    Income from your job

    You need to report your salary and wages as shown in your income statement or payment summary. Your income statement is available by clicking through to the ATO from myGov and we will automatically include information from it in your return for you. Wait for your employer to mark your statement as ‘tax ready’. Most employers are required to finalise this information by 14 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 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 return.

    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.

    See also:

    JobKeeper – wage subsidy

    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 or payment summary 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 14 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.

    See also:

    Insurance payouts

    You need to include income protection, sickness or accident insurance payments in your tax return. The instructions in myTax explain how to include these amounts or talk to a registered tax professional.

    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.

    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.

    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 received the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment from Services Australia, it will be treated as assessable income. You will need to include the payment in your tax return and pay tax on the income.

    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 (these amounts do not need to be included 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 2018.External Link

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

    Pre-fill information

    To make lodging your tax return easy, we can automatically include (pre-fill) your income and other information into your 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.

    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 return or you may need to repay amounts later.

    For more information on what income you must declare in your tax return, see ato.gov.au/incomeyoumustdeclare

      Last modified: 30 Jun 2021QC 59240