Individual tax return instructions 2016
What are the Individual tax return instructions?
The Individual tax return instructions and Individual tax return instructions supplement are designed to help you to complete your tax return.
Work it out
See Do you need to lodge a tax return? to work out whether you need to lodge a tax return for 2015–16.
If you need to lodge, Lodging your tax return will help you to work out which option suits you best.
If you are required to complete the Business and professional items schedule you cannot lodge a paper tax return. You must lodge your tax return using e-tax or a registered tax agent. This will affect you if any of the following applied in 2015–16:
- you were a partner in a partnership that made a loss
- you received income for personal services you provided as a sole trader
- you derived income or incurred a loss from any business
- you conducted a business activity that resulted in a loss.
Lodge online using myTax. MyTax is the free, quick, smart way to lodge online. It's web-based, so you don't need to download anything and you can lodge on any device - computer, phone or tablet.
Get copies of forms and instructions
All the instructions you need to complete your return are available from this website. Return forms and some instructions are also available in print.
Individual tax return instructions
Download Individual tax return instructions 2016 (84 pages) [1.89MB] here.
Individual tax return instructions is no longer available from newsagents.
To obtain a printed copy of this publication:
- use our automated self-help publications ordering service at any time. You need to know the full title of the publication to use this service
- phone our Publications Distribution Service on 1300 720 092. You can speak to an operator between 8.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Friday. Before you phone, check whether there are other publications you may need – this will save you time and help us. For each publication you order, you need the full title
For more comprehensive information about the questions asked in your tax return, go to Individual tax return instructions 2016.
Individual tax return instructions supplement
Individual tax return instructions supplement is no longer available from newsagents.
The supplementary section of the tax return contains items that are used by a relatively small number of taxpayers. To find out whether you will need it, see Will you need the Individual tax return instructions supplement?
For comprehensive information about the questions asked in the supplementary section of your tax return, go to Supplementary tax return.
Tax return forms
- Employment termination payment schedule (NAT 71744). You will need to complete this schedule if you received more than one employment termination payment during the year.
- Superannuation lump sum schedule (NAT 71743). This will help you complete the Tax return for individuals. You will need to complete this schedule if you received more than one superannuation lump sum during the year.
Referred publications and rulings
Not everything can be covered in Individual tax return instructions. Sometimes, you will be referred to other publications that will help you to understand your tax obligations and complete your tax return. Some publications are essential to complete some items.
All the publications and rulings referred to in Individual tax return instructions are listed in Referred publications and rulings 2016.
Tax rates and calculations
If you wish to calculate the amount of your refund or debt, you can use the following tools:
- Simple tax calculator - This tool will help you to calculate the tax you owe on your taxable income. It will not calculate any:
- Medicare levy
- Medicare levy surcharge
- Higher Education Loan Scheme (HELP), or
- Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) liabilities you may have.
- Income tax estimator - You can use this calculator for an estimate of your tax refund or debt for the 2013-14 to 2015-16 income years. It will estimate your tax payable and will also calculate:
- Medicare levy
- Medicare levy surcharge
- Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) repayment
- Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) repayment, and
- any tax offsets that may apply.
It will take these, along with other tax credits, into account in estimating your tax refund or debt.
Phone the ATO
You can phone the ATO if you need assistance with a question in Individual tax return instructions 2016 or Individual tax return instructions supplement 2016, or another matter concerning your tax affairs. If you decide to phone us, please have the instructions handy. See the ATO contacts list for telephone contact numbers.
Ask for a taxation ruling
If you have a complex enquiry about your tax affairs, you may want to ask for a private ruling.
To do this, complete an application for private ruling for individuals (NAT 13742).
A private ruling relates only to your particular situation. Your tax return should reflect what the private ruling says. You may need to change your tax return if you lodge it before you receive your private ruling.
The ATO publishes all private rulings on its internet site. What we publish will not contain anything which could identify you.
You can ask for a review of your private ruling if you disagree with it even if you have not yet received your assessment. You can find out more about objection procedures from the ATO branch that made your ruling.
The ATO provides oral rulings on non-complex individual non-business enquiries.
You can apply for an oral ruling by phone. To do so you will need to confirm your identity. Your tax file number and most recent notice of assessment will usually be sufficient proof of identity.
We will confirm your eligibility for an oral ruling by asking you a series of questions to confirm that your enquiry is eligible to be ruled on.
To get further information on oral rulings, or to apply for a ruling, phone us on 13 28 61.
These instructions are designed to help you complete your tax return for individuals.Last modified: 26 May 2016QC 49096