What should I do if I lodged an incorrect tax return?
If you have lodged a tax return with the Australian Taxation Office and you feel that information was omitted or incorrectly reported, then you, or your accountant, can amend and resubmit the tax return. Typical amendments include reporting additional income and claiming additional tax deductions.
An amendment ensures that the entity correctly reports its taxable income to the Australian Taxation Office. The amendment needs to take place within the amendment period which is usually two to four years from the date on which that particular tax assessment was issued by the Australian Taxation Office. The tax assessment is the document issued to you by the Tax Office stating your entity’s taxable income and its tax position at the end of the financial year.
An amendment will usually take four weeks to process if the request is for an individual’s tax return that was lodged electronically. It will take approximately eight weeks for the Tax Office to process an amendment request for a partnership, company, trust or superannuation fund.
Once an entity lodges an amended tax return there are two possible outcomes:
- If the entity originally overpaid tax then a credit, or refund, is due.
- If the entity underpaid tax, interest then a penalty, could be imposed.
Amendments by the Australian Taxation Office
If the Australian Taxation Office uncovers an error in a tax return based on its data- matching capabilities, you will receive notification from the Tax Office in writing. If you agree that an error was made in a previously lodged tax return, the Tax Office will amend the corresponding tax assessment. If you disagree with the Tax Office’s findings, you will need to promptly contact your accountant or the Tax Office to rectify the matter.
The Australian Taxation Office now has data-matching capabilities whereby it cross-checks the information reported in a tax return against any information from agencies and sources including: Centrelink, the Department of Veterans Affairs, banks, share registries and other financial institutions. The Tax Office’s scope for data-matching is growing and any discrepancies will lead to follow-up action.