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  • Include all your income

    You need to include all the income you received during the income year in your tax return. This includes salary and wages, government payments, investment income and bank interest.

    If you accessed your super under the COVID-19 measure, you:

    • don't need to pay tax on this
    • don't need to include it in your tax return.

    You must declare amounts of super released under other compassionate grounds in your tax return.

    To save you time and to help you get your tax return right, we pre-fill your tax return with information we receive from health funds, banks, employers, government agencies and more. Most information is sent to us by late July.

    You should check the information that pre-fills for you against your own records to make sure it is correct. If you received income or payments that don't pre-fill, you need to add them into your tax return before you lodge.

    In this section

    Income from your job

    Report your salary and wages as shown in your income statement. You access your income statement from ATO online services through your myGov account.

    From the menu on the homepage, select:

    • Employment
    • Income statements.

    If you lodge your tax return online, we automatically include information from your income statement in your tax return for you. Wait for your employer to mark your income statement as ‘tax ready’ before you lodge your tax return.

    If you have more than one employer, you may receive several income statements or both a payment summary and an income statement. You will need to check that income from all your payment summaries is included in your tax return.

    If you lodge your tax return before your income statement is marked 'tax ready', your employer might make changes to your reported information. You may need to lodge an amendment to make these changes to your tax return.

    If you take leave, are temporarily stood down or lose your job and receive a payment from your employer, the Tax on employment payments may differ for these payments.

    JobKeeper Payment

    JobKeeper payments are treated the same as your usual salary or wages from your employer. JobKeeper payments you receive as an employee, will be included in your income statement as either salary and wages or as an allowance, depending on your circumstances. We automatically include this information from your income statement in your tax return for you. For most people this will occur by 14 July.

    If you’re a sole trader who has received JobKeeper payments, you need to include the payments as business income in your individual tax return.

    See also:

    Government payments

    You need to include all taxable government payments that you receive in your tax return as income. Some examples include:

    We will pre-fill most government payments in your tax return by early July. You need to check your pre-fill information and add in any income that has not pre-filled.

    If you received the COVID-19 Disaster payment and the Pandemic leave disaster payment, you will have received advice from Services Australia confirming the amount you received. Enter

    Enter the amount you received at either:

    • Australian Government special payments’ if you lodge online or use a registered tax agent
    • 'Question 24 Other income' if you lodge by paper.

    See also:

    Services Australia income compliance program

    If you receive a refund from the Services Australia income compliance programExternal Link, you or your tax agent don't need to take any action for tax purposes. You:

    • will not be taxed on this amount
    • don't include it in your tax return
    • don't have to submit an amendment for a prior year tax return.

    Submitting an amendment may affect your assessable tax income and any repayment amounts. If you need to lodge an amendment for other reasons, contact us or your tax agent for assistance.

    See also:

    Natural disaster assistance payments

    If you're experiencing financial hardship as a result of a natural disaster, you may receive a relief payment from:

    • local, state or federal government agencies
    • a charity or community group
    • your employer.

    If you receive a Disaster Recovery Payment (DRP), it will be treated as exempt income.

    Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) and Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) payments are generally taxable. If you received any of these payments, you need to include the amount at Australian Government allowances and payments in your tax return. However, the government may declare that, for some natural disasters, DRA and NDRRA payments are exempt income.

    You are not required to pay tax on the following payments made in relation to the 2019–20 bushfires (don't include them in your tax return):

    Emergency assistance in the form of gifts from family and friends is not taxable and doesn't not need to be included in your tax return.

    See also:

    Insurance payouts

    Insurance payouts for damaged or destroyed personal items are not taxed. For example, any insurance payout you receive for your family home is not taxed. Insurance payouts for businesses or income-producing assets may be taxed.

    You need to include income protection, sickness and accident insurance payments in your tax return. The myTax instructions explain how to include these amounts.

    See also:

    Investment income

    You must declare income you earn from investments in your tax return. Most dividends from publicly trading entities will be pre-filled in your tax return. You need to check your pre-fill information is correct and add in any dividends that are missing before you lodge your tax return.

    See also:

    Rental income

    You need to report all the rental income you have received. This includes income from:

    • short-term rental arrangements such as a holiday home
    • renting out part or all of your home
    • other rental-related income, such as      
      • insurance payouts
      • rental bond money you retain.
       

    Many residential rental property owners had their rental income affected by COVID-19. You need to report any back payment of rent or an amount of insurance for lost rent when you receive it. If you reduced the rental amount to enable your tenants to remain in the property, you can still claim deductions for your costs. Your deductions will not be reduced if you continued to incur normal expenses on your property, you will still be able to claim these expenses in your tax return.

    Insurance payouts for businesses or income-producing assets may be taxed.

    See also:

    Sharing economy income

    The sharing economy is economic activity through a digital platform (such as a website or an app) where people share assets or services for a fee. Income you earn from the sharing economy is assessable and needs to be reported in your tax return. Popular sharing economy activities include:

    • providing ride-sourcing (also known as ride-sharing) services for a fare, through platforms such as Uber, DiDi, Ola, Oscar rideshare, Shebah or GoCatch
    • renting out a room or a whole house or unit on a short-term basis, through platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway or Flipkey
    • sharing assets, including cars, caravans/RVs, car parking spaces, storage space or personal belongings, through platforms such as Camplify, Car Next Door, Spacer, Toolmates or Quipmo
    • delivering goods like food through platforms such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo.
    • providing personal services, including creative or professional services like graphic design, creating websites, or odd jobs like deliveries and furniture assembly, through platforms such as Airtasker, OneFlare, Mad Paws or Hark Hark.

    Interest income

    Any interest income you have received will normally be pre-filled into your tax return but you will need to check it and add any other interest that you have received.

    Compensation paid from financial institutions

    If you received a compensation payment from a financial institution (such as your bank), you may need to include the amount in your tax return. The tax treatment of the payment will depend on what the compensation payment covered.

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      Last modified: 14 Jul 2021QC 62802