Tax Return Lodgment Due Dates

The general deadline for the lodgement of self-prepared individual, partnership and trust income tax returns is 31 October.

In general, where the due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, it is moved to the next business day.

If an extension of time is needed to lodge a tax return, the Tax Office should be contacted before the due date with the reasons. If granted, an extension will avoid (or depending on circumstances, reduce) late lodgement penalties.

For mailing addresses and other queries – see the information here.

Company and Super Fund Lodgment Due Dates

Company tax return due lodgment dates depend on the circumstances of the company.

Regardless of general guidelines, the tax office can otherwise request lodgment by a specified date.

Lodgement dates are broadly categorised according to risk (prior lodgement record) and revenue (tax payable and size) factors. The following tax agent program applies to 30 June balancing companies:

  • small companies are generally due by 28 February (lodgment and payment)
  • companies with prior year returns outstanding or prosecutions are required by 31 October (payment by 1 December)
  • large or medium and previous year low-taxed companies, consolidated group companies are required variously from December through March
  • various non-taxable entities may have until 15 May as their final lodgment date (generally extendible without penalty to 5 June, beyond which restricted dates apply in the following year).

COVID-19 relief measures

[update 23 April 2020] COVID-19 measure:

The Tax Office has announced blanket deferrals of tax return lodgments:

  • 2019 SMSF returns which would otherwise be due 15 May 2020 and 5 June 2020 have an automatically extended lodgment date of 30 June 2020.
  • company income tax returns for 2018-19 which would otherwise be due 15 May 2020 will now be due by 5 June 2020
  • 2018-19 tax returns and payment for individuals, partnerships, companies and trusts are due by 5 June 2020
  • 2019-20 FBT returns are automatically deferred until 25 June 2020

Payment deferral applications can be made in addition to the return lodgment extensions which do not require an application.

For a detailed calendar of due dates see Lodge SMSF annual returns

Lodgement Compliance

Penalties apply for non-lodgement and late lodgement which may include fines, interest on a time basis on the underlying tax debt and loss of future lodgement extension privileges.

To minimise exposure in circumstances of default or potential default, early contact with the Tax Office to negotiate arrangements is recommended.

The range of non-lodgement compliance actions is set out here.

The Tax Office has also moved to outsource lodgement compliance administration to external collection agencies.

Appointing a Tax Agent – Deadlines

Tax Agents automatically have an extension of time to lodge tax returns, according to a progressive lodgment program.

To be added to a tax agent’s program for the first time, you should contact a tax agent before 31 October, or if transferring from another agent, by 31 December.

Tax Agents’ Lodgment Program

See also:

  • Natural disaster help: ATO assistance for taxpayers affected by natural disasters such as flood, cyclones and bushfires and other unforeseen events can include the deferral of payment and/or lodgment deadlines – see Dealing With Disasters


This page was last modified 2020-06-29