You may still need to lodge a tax return.
Many Australians on the aged pension are unsure about their taxes. How do they work when you’re not longer working?
Common questions from pensioners include…
- Do pensioners need to lodge a tax return?
- What should I declare to the ATO?
In this post we’ll discuss the different circumstances where you may (or may not) need to lodge a tax return this year.
My only source of income is the age pension
If your only source of income is the aged pension then yes, you may still need to lodge a tax return.
You do need to lodge a tax return if:
Centrelink is withholding any tax from your age pension payment. If Centrelink does withhold tax from your age pension payment; this will be noted on your income statement or PAYG summary. If there is any amount of tax withheld listed on your income statement, then you should lodge a tax return.
You don’t need to lodge a tax return if:
Centrelink is not withholding tax from your pension payment and you have no other income. If your aged pension payment is your only source of income, then you do not need to lodge a tax return.
I receive the aged pension, but also receive income from other sources
If you receive income from other sources such as employment, interest, investments or fringe benefits, you may be required to lodge a tax return.
To work out whether you need to lodge a tax return you need to determine your ‘rebate income’.
To work out your total ‘rebate income’ you need your total taxable income plus the following amounts (if they apply to you):
- Adjusted Fringe Benefits amount
- Reportable Employer Superannuation Contributions
- Deductible Personal Superannuation Contributions
- Your Net Financial Investment Loss
- Your Net Rental Property Loss
If your rebate income was more than the following amounts, then you must lodge a tax return.
- $32,279 If you were single, widowed or separated at any time during the year.
- $57,948 Combined rebate income if you lived with your spouse for the full year.
- $31,279 Combined rebate income if you had a spouse but one of you lived in a nursing home or you had to live apart due to illness.
Everybody must lodge either a Tax Return or a Non-Lodgement Advice – including you!
If you are not required to lodge a tax return this year, you should still tell the ATO about it.
How? By submitting a Non-Lodgement advice. This document notifies the ATO that you do not need to lodge a tax return this year and will ensure they do not expect to receive a return from you.
You can lodge a Non-Lodgement advice yourself by filling in a form downloaded from the ATO website (usually available in late June). Or, if you prefer, we can lodge one for you. Simply send us an email to [email protected] and one of our accountants will get back to you Everybody must lodge either a Tax Return or a Non-Lodgement Advice – including you!
Please Note: The information in the above blog post is general in nature and should not be relied upon as detailed advice that applies to everyone. Each person’s individual circumstances will decide whether or not they need to lodge a tax return.