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  • Self-assessment and the period of review

    The Australian taxation system is a self-assessment system, which means that we generally accept the taxpayer’s assessment of their tax liability as presented in their income tax return or other return.

    We may later review and audit the return if this is warranted by further information or analysis, and amend the assessment if we discover an error.

    In most circumstances, the tax law puts a time limit on the period in which we can amend a tax assessment. These time limits provide certainty and finality for both the taxpayer and the Commissioner.

    For most taxpayers with simple affairs, the amendment period for an income tax assessment is two years from the date that a taxpayer is issued with an assessment. For taxpayers with more complex affairs, the period of review is four years. The period of review is also four years where certain anti-avoidance provisions of the tax law apply.

    However, in a case where the Commissioner forms an opinion of fraud or evasion, there is no time limit for amending an assessment.

    See also:

      Last modified: 17 May 2018QC 41185