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Australian Tax Return Deadline

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Today is the DAY… for your Australian Tax Return! – Or Is It..?

Tax Return DeadlineAustralian Tax Returns for Individuals are due at the end of each Australian financial year, that is June 30th to you and me.

The ATO (Australian Tax Office) gives us a few months to get it all together and submit it to them, so that takes us up to October 31st. After this date… to quote the ATO, “..penalties apply..”. Scary stuff!

So that makes today the day for the ATO deadline for Tax Return Submissions – right? Well not necessarily, and here’s why.

Firstly with deadlines, there is always going to be a bit of a grace period and the ATO is no exception. They’ll turn a blind eye to another 3 or 4 days without any questions asked. A quick perusal of their website ato.gov.au will confirm this.

But it gets better. A simple phone call and you can request an extension without further ado. They don’t ask for reasons why, they just grant it… I tried once and asked for 2 months and they gave me three, so that took me until early February the next year.

Now things hot up a bit BUT the door is still not shut! (The ATO is never going to shut the door on free money coming in from you and I, no matter how long it takes.)

By the time February rolls around and you still haven’t got your act together and need more time – ‘just ask and ye shall receive‘ or words to that effect. Again phone the ATO and this time you’ll be assigned a case officer who’ll take a personal interest in your affairs and with a bit of  polite chatting, will grant you a few more weeks, perhaps even a month.

You’re into March and still no sign of any ‘..penalties..’.

OK, so now things start to get a bit tougher. The freebies have dried up and the casual extensions are all but gone.

But still you can get another extension. Sure you may have to consider some sort of interest payment on any potential Return owed (back dated – ouch!) but NO PENALTY… yet.

It’s only when you agree to a date and then don’t stick to it, that you get penalised. The idea is always ask for an extension and be sure to contact the ATO before it expires and ask for another extension, etc.

Having said all this, completing your tax return only takes a few hours or so and can all be done from the comfort of your own home (when submitting it on-line). So why the endless requests for extensions..?

…Procrastination or ‘playing the system’, you choose!

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