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When to lodge your tax return

Just as individuals need to report their earnings to the ATO on a tax return, so does your business, even if there is no tax to pay.

The tax returns you need to lodge and when you need to lodge will depend on your business structure:

Business structure


Due date

Sole trader (can be known as an individual in business or working for yourself)

Your business income in your individual tax return.

31 October unless you lodge through a registered tax agent*


Your share of the partnership income in your individual tax return. The partnership itself will also need to lodge a partnership return.

Both returns are due by 31 October unless you lodge through a registered tax agent*


Any trust distribution you receive in your individual tax return. The trust will also need to lodge a trust return.

Both returns are due by 31 October unless you lodge through a registered tax agent*.


Any salary or wages you receive, including any other payments such as director’s fees or income from dividends, in your individual tax return. The company will also have to lodge a company tax return.

If you don’t lodge through a registered tax agent

  • Individual tax returns are due by 31 October.
  • Company tax returns are generally due by 28 February each year.

*Most registered tax agents have special lodgment schedules and can lodge returns for their clients later than the usual 31 October deadline. If you're using a tax agent for the first time, or using a different tax agent, you need to contact them before 31 October.

Did you know?

When a due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, you can lodge and pay on the next business day.

When to lodge and pay your business activity statements (BAS) 

BAS are used to report and pay different taxation obligations for your business including:

Most businesses need to lodge BAS through the year. Most small businesses lodge their BAS and pay any amount owing (or get a refund) either quarterly or monthly.

The due date for lodging and paying is shown on your BAS.

If you lodge your BAS online on a quarterly basis, you may qualify for a two-week deferral of your due date. See two-week deferral offer.

Find out more

Learn more on how to prepare and lodge your business activity statements.

Key due dates if you employ staff or have other workers

If you employ staff or other workers in your business, you’ll have additional payment and reporting dates.

Taking tax out of wages

If you have employees, you need to report to the ATO using Single Touch Payroll (STP). Your STP-enabled software sends them your payroll information each time you pay your employees. You may still need to report any amounts you withhold from your workers’ pay in the PAYG tax withheld section of your BAS. Find out more about:

Do you have to lodge a Taxable Payments Annual Report?

Some industries need to report payments made to contractors for their services on a Taxable Payments Annual Report. You’ll need to lodge this report by 28 August each year.


For further information visit the ATO’s Taxable payments reporting.

If you’re a contractor in any of these industries and want to know how this affects you, read more about Taxable payments reporting and contractors.

Paying super for your employees and other workers

If you are required to pay super for your employees or workers, you must pay super contributions to their nominated super fund by the following dates:

Quarter Period Due date
Quarter 1 1 July to 30 September 28 October
Quarter 2 1 October to 31 December 28 January
Quarter 3 1 January to 31 March 28 April
Quarter 4 1 April to 30 June 28 July

You can make payments more regularly if you want to (for example, fortnightly or monthly) as long as you pay the total amount of super you need to for the quarter by the due date.

If you don’t pay super by these dates, you may have to pay the super guarantee charge and lodge a Super Guarantee Charge statement with the ATO.

You must pay and report super for your employees electronically in a standard format. This is called SuperStream.

Fringe benefits tax

If you pay your employees some types of non-cash benefits (like paying for a work car that they can also use at home), you may need to register for and pay fringe benefits tax (FBT).

Did you know?

  • The FBT year runs from 1 April to 31 March.
  • You need to lodge your FBT return and pay the amount owed for the year by 21 May.

Easy ways to manage your key dates for tax

Need help reporting and paying to the ATO?

The key dates tool in the ATO app can tell you when your due dates are coming up to help you meet your tax reporting and payment obligations. Tailor it to your needs so you know exactly when your due dates are.

To use the tool:

  1. open the ATO app
  2. scroll across the page until you see key dates
  3. answer some questions about your business
  4. get a list of lodgment dates specific to you from the app
  5. download the dates into your calendar

You can also find key Due dates by month or Due dates by topic on the ATO website. Save the ones that apply to you into your calendar.

Key dates for other registrations

You may have other payment and reporting responsibilities depending on your business structure or industry type.

Business name renewals

If you’ve registered your business name, you will need to renew your business name registration either annually or every three years.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will issue you with a renewal notice 30 days before it’s due.

Company registrations

ASIC sends annual statements to registered companies shortly after the anniversary of their registration.

If you’ve registered your business as a company and receive this statement, you will need to check that it’s correct and pay the annual review fee.

State government key dates

There may be payments, forms or reports you are required to lodge for different state governments. Check out your state government website for more information:

Industry fees and licences key dates

Depending on your business, you may have to pay licence renewals or industry fees.

Contact your industry body or association for more information on due dates for industry fees.

Using the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS)

ABLIS can help you find out which government licences and registrations apply to your business, as well as information on how to apply and renew your licenses and registrations. Create and download a report tailored to your business containing:

  • a summary of state or territory, local and Australian government requirements relevant to your business
  • information about licence fees, how to apply, periods of cover and renewals
  • how to access application and renewal forms
  • where to go for more help and information.

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