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Oh No! You Missed the Tax Deadline - Don't Panic, Here's What to Do

Updated: Oct 9, 2023


deadline written on chalk board next to a clock

Are you feeling the dread of missing the tax deadline? Don't worry, you're not alone. Many people find themselves in this situation every year. But, the good news is that there are steps you can take to rectify the situation and avoid further consequences. Here's what to do if you missed the tax deadline.


The Dreaded Deadline

The tax deadline in Australia is typically October 31st. This means that you need to have your tax return filed and paid by this date. If you miss the deadline, you may be subject to penalties and interest charges. However, if you have a good reason for missing the deadline, you may be able to request an extension.

Consequences of Missing the Deadline

If you miss the tax deadline, you may face penalties and interest charges. The penalty for failing to lodge your tax return on time is $222 for each 28-day period (or part thereof) that the return is overdue, up to a maximum of $1,110. Additionally, interest is charged on any outstanding tax debt until it is paid in full.


Steps to Take if You Missed the Deadline

If you missed the tax deadline, don't panic. Here are the steps you should take:

  1. Lodge your tax return as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more penalties and interest charges you may incur.

  2. Pay any outstanding tax debt as soon as possible. This will help to reduce the amount of interest charges you will incur.

  3. If you have a good reason for missing the deadline, you may be able to request an extension. You will need to provide evidence to support your request.

  4. If you can't pay your tax debt in full, you may be able to set up a payment plan with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).


Tips to Avoid Missing Future Deadlines

To avoid missing future tax deadlines, here are some tips:


  • Mark the tax deadline in your calendar.

  • Keep all of your tax documents in one place, so you can easily access them when it's time to lodge your tax return.

  • If you're not sure how to lodge your tax return, consider using a tax agent.

  • If you're self-employed, make sure you keep track of your income and expenses throughout the year, so you're prepared when it's time to lodge your tax return.


In conclusion, missing the tax deadline can be stressful, but it's not the end of the world. By taking the steps outlined above and following the tips to avoid missing future deadlines, you can avoid further consequences and stay on top of your tax obligations.


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