How self-assessment affects you
This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.
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Self-assessment means we use the information you give on your tax return and any related schedules and forms to work out your refund or tax liability. We do not take any responsibility for checking the accuracy of the details you provide, although our system automatically checks the arithmetic.
Although we do not check the accuracy of your tax return at the time of processing, at a later date we may examine the details more thoroughly by reviewing specific parts, or by conducting an audit of your tax affairs. We also have a number of audit programs that continually check for missing, inaccurate or incomplete information.
What are your responsibilities?
It is your responsibility to lodge a tax return that is signed, complete and correct. Even if someone else, including a tax agent, helps you to prepare your tax return and any related schedules, you are still legally responsible for the accuracy of your information.
What if you lodge an incorrect tax return?
If you become aware that your tax return is incorrect, you must contact us straight away.
Initiatives to complement self-assessment
There are a number of systems and entitlements that complement self-assessment, including:
- the private ruling system (see below)
- the amendment system (if you find you have left something out of your tax return)
- your entitlement to interest on early payment or over-payment of a tax debt.
For further information, see Self-assessment and the taxpayer.
Do you need to ask for a private ruling?
If you are uncertain about how a tax law applies to your personal tax affairs, you can ask for a private ruling. To do this, complete the Private ruling application form (not for tax professionals) (NAT 13742), or contact us.
Always lodge your tax return by the due date regardless, even if you:
- are waiting for a private ruling
- might need to amend your tax return once you have received the private ruling.
We publish all private rulings on ato.gov.au/rba. Before we do, we remove all information that could identify you.