Tax return for low income earners

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Do low income earners need to lodge a tax return?

There are misconceptions about low income earners and tax returns. If you’re a low income earner and your taxable income is under the tax-free threshold that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re off the hook.

Here are a few common reasons why you might still be required to lodge a return:

  • If you had pay as you go (PAYG) withheld from payments received during the year.
  • If you had a reportable fringe benefits amount on your income statement or PAYG payment summary.
  • If you had reportable employer superannuation contributions on your income statement or PAYG payment summary.
  • If you made a loss, or can claim a loss made in a previous year.
  • If you are an Australian resident for tax purposes and had exempt foreign employment income and $1 or more of other income.
  • If you’re entitled to the private health insurance rebate but did not claim correct entitlement as a premium reduction.
  • If you were a liable or recipient parent under a child support assessment.
    • (There are some exceptions to this one, such as receiving government allowances or pensions, or if your income was less than $25,038). 

We sound like a bit of a broken record, but if you’re not sure PLEASE check your tax obligations with a registered tax agent. Always better to be safe than sorry, and avoid penalties further down the line.

Need help finding a tax agent that suits your needs? Get in touch

You can also read more on the ATO website.