• Income tax return

    What you need to report and how you lodge the annual income tax return for your business depends on your type of business entity.

    On this page:

    See also:

    Sole traders

    If you operate your business as a sole trader, you must lodge the following (even if your income is below the tax-free threshold):

    • tax return for individuals including the supplementary section
    • business and professional items schedule for individuals.

    In your return, report your taxable income or loss. This includes:

    • your assessable business income less the business deductions you can claim
    • any other assessable income, such as salary and wages (shown on a payment summary), dividends and rental income, less any allowable deductions against this income.

    You don't have to work out the amount of tax you are liable to pay. We'll do this for you when you lodge and issue an assessment showing either the amount of tax owing to us or your refund. If you have paid PAYG instalments during the income year, we'll automatically credit these instalments to you in your assessment.

    How to lodge

    You can lodge your individual tax return:

    Lodging by myTax or through an agent is the fastest way to lodge your return. Most refunds for paper returns are finalised within 50 days of lodgement. If you need to lodge by paper, contact us.

    See also:

    When to lodge

    If you lodge via myTax your tax return is due by 31 October. If you lodge through a registered tax agent, they’ll tell you when they will lodge your tax return.

    Partnerships and partners

    If you operate your business as a partnership:

    • the partnership lodges a partnership tax return, reporting the partnership's net income (assessable income less allowable expenses and deductions)

    As an individual partner, you report on your individual tax return:

    • your share of any partnership net income or loss
    • any other assessable income, such as salary and wages (shown on a payment summary), dividends and rental income.

    The partnership doesn't pay income tax on the income it earns. Instead, you and each of the partners pay tax on the share of net partnership income you receive.

    How to lodge

    You can lodge your partnership tax return:

    When to lodge

    If you lodge the partnership tax return yourself, it is due by 31 October. If you lodge through a registered tax agent, they’ll tell you when they will lodge your tax return.

    Trusts and beneficiaries

    If you operate your business as a trust:

    • the trustee lodges a trust tax return, and
    • each trust beneficiary lodges an individual tax return.

    The trust reports its net income or loss. This is the trust's income less expenses and deductions.

    As a trust beneficiary, you report on your individual tax return:

    • any income you receive from the trust
    • any other assessable income, such as salary and wages (shown on a payment summary), dividends and rental income.

    How to lodge

    You can lodge your trust tax return:

    When to lodge

    If you lodge the trust tax return yourself, it is due by 31 October. If you lodge through a registered tax agent, they’ll tell you when they will lodge your tax return.

    Companies

    If you operate your business as a company, you need to lodge a company tax return.

    The company reports its taxable income, tax offsets and credits, PAYG instalments and the amount of tax it is liable to pay on that income or the amount that is refundable.

    The company's income is separate from your personal income.

    How to lodge

    You can lodge your company tax return:

    When to lodge

    If you lodge the company tax return yourself, you need to check the due date. Generally the lodgment and payment date for small companies is 28 February. If you have any prior year returns outstanding, the due date will be 31 October.

    If you lodge through a registered tax agent, they’ll tell you when they will lodge your tax return.

    Last modified: 12 Oct 2017QC 31999