Overdue or Late Tax Returns:

How to lodge your late tax return

You can finish any late tax return from 2001–2014 online right now. It only takes about 15 minutes.

Do you have a previous year’s overdue tax return that you need to lodge with the ATO?

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

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

You are never too late to lodge your overdue tax return

Many Australians think it’s too late to lodge a previous year’s tax return. Or they think that, because a few years have passed, they don’t need to lodge anymore.

The ATO is very clear that you have to lodge a tax return for each year that you received any income. The ATO does not just forgive and forget. And the trouble is, if you ignore old late tax returns, you might be end up receiving costly ATO fines and penalties. We can help you sort that out.

Two important points:

  • If you have a late tax return, 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 now and you don’t owe the ATO any money, usually they won’t charge any 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…”

Have you misplaced your payment summary or group certificate for a particular tax year?

Is that why you have a late tax return?

Don’t worry: We can retrieve your tax records direct from the ATO to help complete your tax return. This can include your payment summary, plus income earned from bank interest and 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 Etax.com.au and select the relevant outstanding 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. If you will do additional returns for other years, tell us in “my messages” on each year’s return.
  5. Leave the rest to us. We’ll check with the ATO to find any missing information. Then we’ll lodge you late tax return to the ATO on your behalf.

Please note: For all late tax returns, we will check information from the ATO. Unfortunately, sometimes the ATO did not receive information from your old employers, etc. Don’t worry, though – we can still help get your return lodged properly.

“But I earned less than under the tax free threshold 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 done.

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 any 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 late tax returns all up-to-date now, then work with a registered tax agent (like Etax.com.au) who can help you arrange a payment schedule with the ATO. The ATO can be very reasonable about payments as long as you get on top of it and are honest with them.

If you choose to ignore it long-term, annual ATO fines, interest and penalties can really add-up. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to catch up. And when it is all done, what a relief!

It’s much easier to get overdue tax returns all done now, then rest easy, knowing exactly where you stand.

Ready to get your tax returns up to date?

It’ll be easy. Click below to get started.

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“Can I just use the ATO’s e-tax software for my late tax return?”

Unfortunately not. The ATO’s e-tax software will not let you lodge an overdue tax return.

Even if you find an old copy of the ATO’s software, they will not accept your direct submission of a late tax return. Don’t worry; it is easier to use etax.com.au anyway and you’ll get the confidence of advice and checking by qualified tax accountants who can help prevent any costly ATO penalties, when possible.

“Is it worth the trouble?”

finishing late tax returns erases worries and uncertainty
Lodging late tax returns and getting all your overdue tax affairs up to date can take away unnecessary worry in your life.

Definitely, yes. (And it’s very little trouble.)

Over the past 16 years helping Australians get on top of overdue tax affairs, hundreds of people have told us what an incredible relief it is, just putting it behind them. It’s so nice to see an ATO envelope or a tax agent letter and be able to assume, “that’s not bad news.”

Many taxpayers have finished more than ten years of overdue tax returns, all in one go. It might seem daunting, but it’s really not so hard to get it all sorted out. Especially when you can ring for advice and support.

And just erasing taxes from the back of your mind is a huge burden lifted – never having to think about it is a big deal for many people. Using the online tax return, now it’s easy to get it all done.

Register and finish your late tax returns now

*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 Etax.com.au. 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.