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Company tax return instructions 2021

These instructions will help you complete the Company tax return 2021 (NAT 0656).

Last updated 15 February 2022

About these instructions

These instructions will help you complete the Company tax return 2021 (NAT 0656), the tax return for all companies, including head companies of consolidated and multiple entity consolidated (MEC) groups.

To download a PDF copy of the return or order a paper copy through our publication ordering service, go to Company tax return 2021.

The instructions include:

  • What's new? – covers any changes in legislation over the financial year that need to be taken into consideration when lodging the tax return.
  • Schedules – contains the information and schedules that companies might need to complete and attach to the tax return.
  • General administration – contains administration and record-keeping requirements.
  • Instructions – contains information about how to complete each label on the company tax return, including company information, Items 1–30, the calculation statement and declaration.
  • Abbreviations – for names and technical terms, each term is spelt out the first time it is used.

When we say you or your business in these instructions, we mean either you as a business entity (the company) that conducts a business, or you as the tax agent or public officer responsible for completing the tax return.

These instructions are not a guide to income tax law. Ask for help from the ATO or a recognised tax adviser if you feel that these instructions do not fully cover your circumstances.

To get a publication referred to in these instructions and for information about our other services, see Publications.

Find out about:

Tax return

In this section:

First company tax return

Apply for a tax file number (TFN) before lodging your first tax return to ensure that payments are credited to the correct account. You can apply for a TFN at Link.

If the company has applied for a TFN, but has not received notification of its TFN at the time of lodging its Company tax return 2021, include a copy of the application with the tax return, prominently highlighted with the words in block letters ‘ATTENTION COPY ONLY – TFN NOT RECEIVED WHEN LODGING 2021 TAX RETURN’. If thecompany does not have a copy of the original application, contact us on 13 28 66 for advice.

If the company has not applied for a TFN, attach a completed application with this tax return. There may be delays in processing a tax return lodged without a TFN.

Lodging the tax return and schedules

Companies that derived assessable income in 2020–21 must lodge a tax return for 2020–21. Companies that carry forward losses – which exceed $1,000 – to 2021–22 must also lodge a tax return for 2020–21 even when no assessable income was derived in 2020–21. Non-profit companies that are resident and have taxable income of $416 or less do not have to lodge a tax return, unless specifically requested. Keep records so that the information you report on your tax return can be verified at a later date, if required.

For a list of schedules that you can send with your Company tax return 2021, see Schedules.

  • If you lodge a schedule separately from your tax return, complete the Taxpayer's declaration section.
  • Do not send other unlisted schedules or documents with your Company tax return 2021. Keep these with your tax records.

You can lodge elections required by Taxation Ruling IT 2624 Income tax: company self assessment; elections and other notifications; additional (penalty) tax; false or misleading statement with your company tax return.


The date for lodgment of the company tax return (including any relevant schedules) is notified in a legislative instrument on the Federal Register of LegislationExternal Link.

The Commissioner may allow later lodgment dates, see Due dates for lodging and paying.

You must lodge your tax return and all the required schedules by the due date.

  • If you lodge your tax return without all the required schedules, we may not consider it to have been lodged in the approved form.
  • Unless your tax return and all schedules are lodged by the due date, you may be charged a penalty for failing to lodge on time.

Do not attach your payment to your company tax return. To make payments by one of five methods, see How to pay.


The postal address for lodgment of your company tax return is below. See Publications for a list of the schedules that you can lodge with your Company tax return 2021.

Australian Taxation Office
GPO Box 9845

The address must appear as shown above.

Do not send payments to this address. For payment information, see How to pay.

If you wish to write to the ATO, send your correspondence to:

Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 9990

Lodging the tax return from outside Australia

Foreign resident companies carrying on a business in Australia or deriving Australian income need to provide an Australian address for service in their tax return.

  • This may be an Australian postal address.
  • If you have no Australian postal address, provide the address of the appointed public officer.
  • If the tax return relates only to a foreign resident capital gain under Division 855 and there is no presence in Australia, an overseas address is acceptable.

How to pay

We offer a range of convenient payment options.

For more information, see How to pay.

Your payment needs to reach us on or before its due date. Payments may take up to four (4) business days, from the date you make the payment, to appear on your ATO account.