The ATO provides a list of ‘reasons’ that you may need to lodge a tax return, the most common criteria are:
- You paid tax under the pay as you go (PAYG) withholding or instalment system, or had tax withheld from payments made to you,
- Your taxable income was greater than: $18,200 if you were an Australian resident for tax purposes for the full year; $416, if you were under 18 years old at 30 June 2013 and your income was not salary or wages or $1 if you were a foreign resident and you had income taxable in Australia which did not have non-resident withholding tax withheld from it,
- You carried on a business,
- You made a loss or you can claim 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,
- You received income from dividends or distributions exceeding $18,200 (or $416 if you were under 18 years old on 30 June 2013),
- You had amounts withheld because you did not quote your tax file number or Australian business number to the investment body (including your bank),
- You did not claim your full private health insurance rebate entitlement as a premium reduction.
If you do not meet any of the criteria and you do not need to lodge you may still need to complete a non-lodgement advice – that’s because the ATO assumes that you need to lodge, which is fair enough as they can’t read your mind; so this advice tells them that you do not need to lodge and avoids a non-lodge penalty.
If you have retired and know that you will never have to lodge a return as you will never meet any criteria again you can also advise the ATO of this once, so you don’t have to do it each year! If your circumstances in future years change you still have to lodge a return, which cancels the advice or never having to lodge again.
If you don’t need to lodge a tax return for 2012-13 but were still in receipt of franking credits, you can claim a refund of franking credits by completing a special form, or by lodging a tax return.
If you are looking after the estate of someone who died during the financial year you need to consider all the above reasons on their behalf. If they meet the criteria you will need to lodge a tax return on their behalf, if a tax return is not required you will need to complete a non-lodgement alive.
Note: This list is not exhaustive if you are unsure contact Award Accounting to find out more information.
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