So you’ve had your tax return lodged… now what?
One of the most frequently asked questions we get after we have lodged a tax return is, ‘What happens next?’
There are a few things that will happen once your return is lodged, and it will depend entirely on if you have a tax payable (a tax bill), a tax refund (credit to you) or not required to pay or be paid.
1. You have tax payable
You will know if you have an amount to pay, as you will have signed off on this before we file and lodge your tax return. You will need to wait for your Notice of Assessment before you can finalise your payment for the balance. This also ensures that the estimate payable on your Tax Return Lodgement, matches what has been processed by the ATO.
What is a Notice of Assessment?
A Notice of Assessment is a notification provided by the ATO to advise you that your return has been successfully lodged. A notice is delivered for each tax return lodged. It will provide a breakdown of the amounts that will need to be paid to the ATO and instructions on how to pay.
You have the option of making a payment in full just like any other bill, or setting up an ATO Payment Plan.
It’s a misconception that if you lodge a return you are guaranteed a refund – if you don’t pay tax, there’s no tax to give back. As always, we recommend putting aside 30% of all your earnings to cover a potential tax bill.
2. You have a tax refund
The only possible way you will receive as tax refund as a sole trader, is if you have paid tax during the financial year. This may come via a civvie/day job, or if you are on the PAYG Instalment System, where you pay a tax bill quarterly to cover your projected tax payable.
Your tax return will have a section where your Financial Institution details are confirmed. If this is completed, your refund will be processed as digitall transferred to your nominated account. You should receive an SMS or notification from the ATO when this is processed. If there are no details provided, your return amount will be sent to your nominated postal address as a cheque attached to your Notice of Assessment. We will then forward this to you as soon as possible, so you can deposit this to your bank account.
3. Nothing owed and nothing to receive
This is generally the case if you have earned under the tax-free threshold of $18,200. You will receive your Notice of Assessment which no action needed. Yay!
Where can I find my Notice of Assessment?
You will be notified via email by MyGov when you have a new message in your MyGov inbox. This message after you lodge your return will be regarding your Notice of Assessment. It’s extremely important you have access to your MyGov and have the ATO link set up. If you don’t have access, please follow the ATO’s instructions here. Not having access leaves you unaware of your tax obligations and payment/refund options.
What else accompanies my Notice of Assessment?
You will also receive a:
- Statement of Account notification which gives you a break down into what debit and credits have come to/from your account with the ATO. If you have any outstanding debt, this will appear here as well. If you have a debt and want to get on top of this, we can set you up with a payment plan via the ATO. You have control on instalments and frequency.
- Tax Receipt that outlines where your tax dollars have contributed to the greater community.
We’ve created a FREE downloadable Tax & Bookkeeping Guide that is industry specific!
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