Failing to Lodge a Tax Return: The Weird and The Valid Excuses

Just like the golden excuse ‘the dog ate my homework’, some excuses for people not lodging their tax returns are more fictional than real. While lodging your tax return may not be the most thrilling date on your calendar, when it comes to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), excuses better sold in a bookstore will be considered as a serious offence.

My Pants Have Been Stolen

One taxpayer claimed that he didn’t have a receipt for his uniform because a thief broke into his car and stole the pants the receipt was in. A good tip is to back up the receipts you’ll need in digital format when it comes to tax time with an app. That way, if you do lose your receipts for any reason, you’ll have a backup copy.

I’ve Got Holiday Brain

Another taxpayer claimed he didn’t file his tax return because he’d returned from a holiday and was suffering from ‘holiday brain’. The time for lodging your tax return is between the 1st July and the 31st October. If you file your tax return on time, you might even be able to put money aside for your next holiday.

The Weird and The Valid Excuses for Failing to Lodge a Tax Return

What’s a Tax Return? I’ve Never Heard Of It?

There have been excuses from taxpayers stating that they didn’t know about the existence of a tax return. If you earn under the threshold of $18,200 income in a year, then you won’t need to pay tax, but you may still need to lodge your tax return. There are other payments you might be entitled to receive, such as superannuation or a government payment. If you’re under 21, ITP The Income Tax Professionals will lodge your tax return for $79 and you’ll be able to claim our fee as a deduction on the following return.


A Mouse Ate My Receipts

If you do lose your receipts for any reason, try contacting the seller for a copy of your transaction. It’s best to always have a copy on hand because the ATO can ask a taxpayer for their receipts five years after the date the transaction occurred.

For those who don’t lodge, the penalty can be as high as $1,050, almost the same as the new Morrison Tax Offset of $1,080.

You can, however, choose not to come up with a creative excuse. The deadline for lodging your tax return is October 31, but if you’re already on the books with a registered tax agent and don’t owe any hefty bills, you may have until May 15 the following year.

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ITP The Income Tax Professionals help over 300,000 Australians lodge their tax returns each year, as well as offering income tax advice. Call a Professional today for your personal as well as business tax.