ATO Paper Tax Return

Submitting an ATO paper tax return is an important annual task for individuals and businesses to fulfill their obligations to the tax authorities. While electronic filing has become the preferred method in recent years, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) still provides the option for individuals to submit a paper tax return. This traditional method involves completing a physical form, known as the paper tax return, and mailing it to the ATO for processing.

In this article, we will explore the basics of the ATO paper tax return, including its purpose, eligibility criteria, and the steps involved in completing and submitting the form.

How To Lodge An ATO Paper Tax Return

If you prefer to submit a paper tax return instead of filing electronically, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides a straightforward process for lodging your tax return. Here are the general steps involved:

  • Obtain the paper tax return form: Visit the ATO’s official website at or contact the ATO directly to request a copy of the Individual Tax Return form (Form ITR). You can also find the form at some post offices and newsagents during the tax season.
  • Gather your documentation: Collect all the necessary documents to complete your tax return, including payment summaries, receipts for deductions, bank statements, and any other relevant financial records. Having these documents readily available will help ensure accurate reporting.
  • Complete the form: Take your time to carefully fill out the paper tax return form. Provide accurate information about your income, deductions, and other relevant details as per the instructions provided. Be sure to double-check your entries for accuracy and legibility.
  • Calculate your tax liability: Use the tax tables or the ATO’s online tax calculators to determine your tax liability or refund amount. Follow the instructions on the form to calculate your tax payable or refundable based on your reported income and deductions.
  • Sign and date the form: Once you have completed the form, sign and date it. Ensure that all required sections are filled out correctly, as incomplete or unsigned forms may result in processing delays or the return being rejected.
  • Prepare supporting documents: Gather any supporting documents that are required to be attached with your paper tax return. This may include payment summaries, statements of interest, and any other documents relevant to your income or deductions. Make copies of these documents for your records.
  • Mail your tax return: Place your completed form and supporting documents in an envelope. It’s recommended to send your tax return via registered or certified mail to ensure its safe delivery. Retain the mailing receipt as proof of lodgment.
  • Wait for processing: After mailing your tax return, allow time for the ATO to process it. Processing times may vary, especially during peak tax seasons. The ATO will assess your return and notify you of the outcome, which may include a refund or a request for further information.

Remember to keep a copy of your completed tax return and all supporting documents for your records. This will come in handy for reference purposes or if the ATO requests additional information in the future.

It’s important to note that the process and specific requirements for lodging a paper tax return may be subject to change. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult the ATO’s official website or contact the ATO directly for the most up-to-date information and guidelines regarding paper tax return lodgment.

Wrapping Up

Remember, lodging an ATO paper tax return needn’t be a chore, even for expats and foreign investors. With this guide, we hope to have made the process clear, manageable, and stress-free. 

Need more assistance with your tax matters? Contact Odin Tax today to speak with one of our tax advisors.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can print your last year’s tax return by logging into your myGov account linked to the ATO.

You can download your tax return form directly from the ATO’s official website.

There are various types of tax returns, including individual, partnership, company, trust, and super fund tax returns.

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