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Cost of tax compliance

Last updated 23 September 2020

Data in this section is taken from processed tax returns based on income year reporting.

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Cost of tax compliance summary table and chart

Chart 18: Average time to complete tax return, 2012–13 to 2016–17 income years

Chart 18 shows the average time taken to complete the income tax return form for individuals, companies, super funds, partnerships and trusts for the last 5 income years. The link below will take you to the data behind this chart as well as similar data back to the 2009–10 income year.

In this chart Individuals only includes those who completed the business and professional items section.

To access the data for this chart, as well as similar data back to the 2009–10 income year, download Snapshot table 5External Link from

Table 22: Cost of managing tax affairs for individuals, 2014–15 to 2016–17 income years





Number of individuals




Total cost of managing tax affairs ($m)




Average cost of managing tax affairs ($)




Median cost of managing tax affairs ($)




In this table Cost of managing tax affairs includes expenses you incurred in managing your tax affairs, any interest charge we imposed on you, and other costs. It will not include any amounts individuals may have claimed for the cost of managing tax affairs under a different label. For more information, see Individual tax return instructions.

To access this data in Excel format, as well as similar data back to the 2005–06 income year, download Snapshot table 4External Link from

Cost of tax compliance detailed tables

Table 1External Link: Cost of taxation compliance data, by form type, 1998–99 to 2017–18 years

Table 2External Link: Tax return form time-box data, by entity type, lodgment method and total business income, 2016–17 income year

Table 3External Link: Fringe benefits tax (FBT) and business activity statement (BAS) forms time-box data, by market segment, 2016–17 and 2017–18 FBT and financial years