Late Tax Returns: How to lodge a previous year’s late tax return

Any tax return from 2001–2014 can be done online at It only takes about 15 minutes.

Do you have a previous year’s tax return that you need to lodge with the ATO? You are in the right place.

At you can complete any prior year’s or late tax returns from 2001 to 2013. And the best part, using the simple online tax return means you can finish your late tax returns in just minutes.

The Etax Accountants online tax return is a fast and easy web-based tax return. It works on any internet-connected device (PC, Mac, iPad, Tablet). Just register your details, select the tax year and your late tax returns will be done before you know it.

You are never too late to lodge your tax return

Many Australians think they’re too late to lodge a previous year’s tax return. Or they think that because a few years have passed, they no longer need to lodge.

The ATO is very clear that you need to lodge a tax return for each year when you earned any sort of income. Two important points:

  • If you have a tax return outstanding, you should lodge it as soon as possible. (The longer you wait, the more chance of an ATO penalty.)
  • If you lodge your late tax return voluntarily and you don’t owe the ATO any money, usually they won’t charge late lodgement penalties*.

It doesn’t matter if you have one late return or a whole bunch of overdue tax returns – the sooner you lodge your returns, the better.

“I don’t have any record of my income for a certain year…”

A common reason for overdue tax returns is…

I lost my payment summary or group certificate.

Is that why you have a late tax return?

Don’t worry: As a registered tax agent, we can obtain your tax records direct from the ATO to help complete your tax return. This can include your payment summary, plus income earned from banks and other government agencies. (The ATO already knows a surprising amount of your tax return information before you lodge a return – but you still have to lodge it.)

If you’ve lost your tax records and want to lodge your late tax return, follow these easy steps:

  1. Register online at and select the relevant tax year
  2. Fill in as much detail as you can and sign your return
  3. Send us a message using “my etax messages” from within your return letting us know you don’t have your payment records.
  4. Leave the rest to us! We’ll contact the ATO and request any missing information. We’ll then lodge you late tax return to the ATO on your behalf.

Please note: In all instances of late tax returns, we will request information from the ATO. Unfortunately, sometimes this information has not been provided to the ATO and consequently will be unavailable. Don’t worry though – on these occasions we may still be able to lodge your return using a Statutory Declaration instead. Our accountants will advise you if this is required.

“But I earned less than $6000 or no income at all…”

If your income is below the tax free threshold or you had no income at all in any tax year, you are still required to notify the ATO. Instead of lodging a late tax return, you are required to submit a Non-Lodgement Advice. This lets the ATO know that you were not required to lodge a tax return that year.

If think you are in this category, please contact us. We can check whether you need to lodge a late tax return or a Non-Lodgement Advice and help you get it completed.

The peace of mind in knowing your tax affairs are up to date can be very relaxing and liberating; it is not hard to get it done so why wait longer?

“I am afraid of owing the ATO money – I can’t afford to pay.”

When you owe the ATO money, the best thing is to get your tax returns all up-to-date now, then work with a tax agent (like who can help you negotiate a payment schedule. The ATO can be very reasonable about payments, if you just get on top of it and be honest with them.

If you choose to ignore it long-term, annual ATO penalties could add-up.

It’s much easier to get it all done with the affordable help of a registered tax agent and then rest easy, knowing exactly where you stand.

Ready to do your tax return?

Click below to get started.

Start your tax return now

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*Please note: The information above is general in nature and Etax Accountants cannot guarantee that the ATO won’t charge late fees as this will depend on your individual tax history. Individual checking and advice is provided by a reviewing accountant after completing of your tax return at Final assessment of your return and refund amount lies solely with the Australian Taxation Office.


For detailed advice relating to your personal circumstances, please:

  • ring and speak to one of our accountants on 1300 693 829, or
  • complete your tax return online and sign your return. Then, our accounting team will check your return before it is lodged – if no return is required, it will be cancelled and you will pay no fees.