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Navigating through Taxation statistics

Last updated 23 September 2020

When moving around Taxation statistics 2014–15 and using the data, you will need to understand the following:

See also:

Using summary tables and charts

Summary tables and charts in the Statistics section provide an overview of taxation statistics information by topic.

Taxation statistics 2014–15 contains many charts, and provides access not only to the data from which the chart was derived, but also in many cases more detailed data or a time series of historical data.

Finding specific data

We have an index to help you find specific data in a detailed table. This index covers individuals, companies, funds, partnerships, trusts and fringe benefits tax (FBT).

How to use the detailed table index:

  1. Go to Link, click on the hyperlink for the Detailed table index, select the Go to resource button, then open file, then select the relevant tab at the bottom of the Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Find the data you are looking for under the headings in the first column. Items are generally categorised into three groups  
    1. Demographics – different ways to view the data, based on characteristics of the entities, such as the gender or occupation of individuals or the taxable status of companies.
    2. ATO calculated amounts – data with no specific label. See Definitions and calculations for more on the calculations used in this publication.
    3. Return form labels – lists all the labels in our detailed tables, in the same order as they appear on the relevant return form.
  3. Once you find the table number you are looking for, go back to the Taxation statistics webpage listing the detailed tables for the relevant entity type and select the link to the desired table.

Using detailed tables

Detailed tables contain substantially more data than the summary tables and charts. Detailed table data includes most labels on selected return forms and schedules.

How to view a detailed table:

  1. Go to Statistics and choose a topic.
  2. Select the topic's detailed tables link to get a list of available detailed tables. If you are unsure which detailed table contains the information, see Finding specific data.
  3. Select the link to the relevant detailed table; this will take you to where all our tables are stored.
  4. Select the Go to resource button, then open or save file.

Frequently asked questions

Which statistics are based on income year reporting and which are based on financial year reporting?

Most of our statistics are based on processed tax returns, including:

  • individuals
  • companies
  • super funds
  • partnerships
  • trusts
  • capital gains tax (CGT)
  • fringe benefits tax (for the FBT year)
  • cost of tax compliance
  • industry benchmarks (financial ratios).

Some of our statistics are based on data or liabilities relating to the most recent financial year. These include:

  • member contribution statement (MCS)
  • goods and services tax (GST)
  • wine equalisation tax (WET)
  • luxury car tax (LCT)
  • petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT)
  • excise and fuel schemes
  • pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and instalments
  • industry benchmarks (activity statement ratios).

When we reach our income year processing cut-off date of 31 October in the year following the income year, the financial year based statistics for the year ahead have already been collected and can also be included in the current taxation statistics report.

Additionally, a small number of our statistics contain information relating to both income and financial years.

Why do statistics from previous years change in some detailed tables?

In our detailed tables, statistics for the two preceding income years are updated. They change due to lodgments, amendments or cancellations received and processed after the cut-off date of the previous yearly report.

Financial year data is not updated. The notes to each detailed table will identify the currency of the data included within.

We recommend you exercise caution when comparing the statistics of the current and previous income years. This is due to additional (late) lodgments and amendments received after the cut-off date.

For this reason the previous year data in summary tables and charts is not updated; to allow for a quick year-on-year (point-in-time) comparison to be undertaken.

Additionally, changes in legislation from year to year (such as changing income tax rates or thresholds) can also impact year on year analysis.

Why are numbers in the yearly taxation statistics different to numbers in other publications?

There are several reasons why numbers in the taxation statistics may be different to numbers in other ATO, government or non-government publications.

Difference in cut-off processing dates

To compile our statistics, we choose a cut-off date of 31 October of the following year, allowing 16 months for a majority of returns to have been lodged and processed.

Any return forms processed, or amendments made after this cut-off date are not included in the statistics shown in the report for that year.

If a different cut-off date is chosen for another ATO publication, it is likely the statistics reported would be different from the statistics we report in our yearly taxation statistics, even if they refer to the same income, financial or FBT year.

Difference in the definition of terms

Other publications may define some terms differently. For example, in our yearly taxation statistics report an individual's total income includes income from different sources, such as salary and wages, foreign income, rental income, pensions and government benefits. In other publications an individual's income may refer only to salary and wages.

Difference in how an item is calculated

Other publications and reports may use different formulae in calculating items also reported in our taxation statistics. See the methodology we use in Definitions and calculations.

What is the difference between the Industry benchmarks and the Small business benchmarks?

All benchmarks are calculated from information derived from income tax returns and activity statements. The difference is the range of benchmarks available and size of businesses represented.

Industry benchmarks include all individuals, companies, partnerships and trusts, for different levels of industry.

Small business benchmarks include only small businesses with turnover ranges of up to $15 million for over 100 industries.

Can I obtain estimates or forecasts?

No. We can only provide statistics and information on past income, financial or fringe benefits tax years. Requests for estimates and forecasts should be directed to The TreasuryExternal Link.

Where is the 100 People presentation?

In 100 People we represent the millions of tax returns received by us in an animation for 2008–09, and data for 2012–13. Those millions of tax returns are represented as 100 people.

Can I request statistics, tables or information not included in the publication?

We are able to undertake research and quality assurance to separately answer ad hoc requests that are not covered by this report. In some cases we may not be able to release the data due to confidentiality issues.

To register your data request for consideration in future publications, email

How can I provide feedback?

You can provide feedback or comments on our yearly taxation statistics report by emailing us at