You can work through our Do I need to lodge a tax return? online tool, or review the following information.
If any of the following reasons applies to you, you must lodge a tax return.
During 2019–20, you were an Australian resident and you:
- paid tax under the pay as you go (PAYG) withholding or instalment system, or
- had tax withheld from payments made to you (excluding mining payments).
You were eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset, and your rebate income (not including your spouse's) was more than:
- $32,279 if you were single, widowed or separated at any time during the year
- $31,279 if you had a spouse but one of you lived in a nursing home or you had to live apart due to illness (see the definition of Had to live apart due to illness in T1 Seniors and pensioners (includes self-funded retirees) 2020), or
- $28,974 if you lived with your spouse for the full year.
To work out your rebate income, see Rebate income 2020.
You were not eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset but you received a payment listed at question 5 and other taxable payments which when added together made your taxable income (from taxable income or loss on your tax return) more than $20,542.
- $18,200 if you were an Australian resident for tax purposes for the full year (see the meaning of Australian resident for tax purposes in Special circumstances and glossary)
- $416 if you were under 18 years old at 30 June 2020 and your income was not salary or wages
- $1 if you were a foreign resident and you had income taxable in Australia which did not have a final non-resident withholding tax withheld from it, or
- your part-year tax-free threshold amount if you became or stopped being an Australian resident for tax purposes; see question A2 or phone 13 28 61.
You must lodge a tax return if any of the following applied to you:
- You had a reportable fringe benefits amount on your
- Income statement or PAYG payment summary – individual non-business, or
- Income statement or PAYG payment summary – foreign employment.
- You had reportable employer superannuation contributions on your
- Income statement or PAYG payment summary – individual non-business
- Income statement or PAYG payment summary – foreign employment, or
- Income statement or PAYG payment summary – business and personal services income.
- You were entitled to the private health insurance rebate but you did not claim your correct entitlement as a premium reduction, and your spouse (if you had one) is not claiming the rebate for you in their income tax return.
- You carried on a business.
- You made a loss (including a capital loss or a non-capital loss on redemption or disposal of a traditional security) or you can claim such a loss you made in a previous year.
- You were 60 years old or older and you received an Australian superannuation lump sum that included an untaxed element or it is a superannuation lump sum death benefit paid to you as a non-dependant.
- You were under 60 years old and you received an Australian superannuation lump sum that included a taxed element or an untaxed element or it is a superannuation lump sum death benefit paid to you as a non-dependant.
- You were entitled to a distribution from a trust or you had an interest in a partnership and the trust or partnership carried on a business of primary production.
- You were an Australian resident for tax purposes and you had exempt foreign employment income and $1 or more of other income.
- You are a special professional covered by the income averaging provisions. These provisions apply to authors of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, inventors, performing artists, production associates and active sportspeople.
- You received income from dividends or distributions exceeding $18,200 (or $416 if you were under 18 years old on 30 June 2020) and you had
- franking credits attached, or
- amounts withheld because you did not quote your tax file number or Australian business number to the investment body.
- You derived Australian sourced taxable income (excluding any superannuation remainder or employment termination remainder) of $37,001 or more while you were on a working holiday visa (417 or 462 visa).
- You made personal contributions (not including amounts which you are claiming as a deduction) to a complying superannuation fund or retirement savings account and will be eligible to receive a super co-contribution for these contributions.
- Your concessional contributions to your super exceeded the concessional contributions cap.
- Your non-concessional contributions exceeded your non-concessional contributions cap.
- You were a liable parent or a recipient parent under a child support assessment unless
- you received one or more Australian Government allowances, pensions or payments for the whole of the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
- the total of all the following payments was less than $25,575
If you are looking after the estate of someone who died during 2019–20, consider all the above reasons on their behalf. If a tax return is not required, complete the Non-lodgment advice 2020 form and send it to us.
If a tax return is required, see Completing individual information on your tax return 2020 for more information.
Foreign residents with an accumulated Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) debt, VET Student Loan (VSL) debt or an accumulated Trade Support Loan (TSL) debt
If you were a foreign resident during 2019–20 and you had an accumulated HELP, VSL or TSL debt on 1 June 2019, then you must lodge a tax return if the total of:
- your repayment income, and
- any foreign-sourced income
was more than $11,470 for 2019–20.
If this applies to you, you must lodge your tax return electronically. This is even if one of the other reasons above applies to you.
If you received franking credits and you don't need to lodge a tax return for 2019–20, you may be eligible to claim a refund of franking credits by using Refund of franking credits instructions and application for individuals 2020 (NAT 4105) and lodging your claim online, by mail, or phone on 13 28 65.
If you have read all the above information and know that you do not have to lodge a tax return, you should complete the Non-lodgment advice 2020 and send it to us, unless one of the following applies to you:
- You have already sent us a tax return, non-lodgment advice, form or letter telling us that you do not need to lodge a tax return for all future years.
- You are lodging an application for a refund of franking credits for 2020.
- Your only income was from an allowance or payment listed at question 5 or you received a pension, payment or an allowance listed at question 6, and
- your rebate income was less than or equal to the relevant amount in reason 2 (if you are eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset), or
- your taxable income was less than or equal to the relevant amount in reason 3 (the agencies that paid you have provided information for us to determine that you do not need to lodge a tax return).
- You were a working holiday maker on a 417 or 462 visa, and your Australian income was less than $37,001.
You can submit a Non-lodgment advice for 2020 using our online services.
Alternatively, complete the Non-lodgment advice 2020 and send it to us.
See also:A tool and instructions to help you work out if you need to lodge an income tax return.