Can I amend my tax return or fix a mistake?
“Never say, ‘oops’. Always say, ‘Ah, interesting’.”
YES, If you’ve made a mistake or forgot to include something on your income tax return you’ve already lodged, you can request an amendment to your income tax assessment.
For example, you may have made an error when answering a question, or forgotten to include some income or a capital gain, or forgotten to claim an offset or deduction you were entitled to. Something may have happened after you lodged your return, such as you received a revised payment summary or another payment summary, or you repaid an amount of income you were overpaid.
You can use the amendment process to correct a mistake or omission on your tax return.
If your amendment reduces the tax you owe, you’ll receive a tax refund (unless you have other tax debts). If it increases the tax you owe, ATO generally treat it as a voluntary disclosure. You’ll still have to pay any outstanding tax, but you’re likely to receive concessional treatment for any penalties and interest charges that apply.
We can amend your tax return. Online amendments are generally processed within 20 business days, compared to amendments requested by paper which take about 50 business days. You can amend multiple times if needed.
Time limits on income tax amendments.
The law sets time limits for amending your tax assessment.
For individuals and small businesses, the time limit is generally two years, from the day after ATO give you the notice of assessment for the year in question (generally taken to be the date on the notice or, if ATO don’t issue a notice, the date the relevant return was lodged).
For example, you’re a sole trader and receive a notice of assessment dated 12 November 2015. Your two-year amendment period starts on 13 November 2015 (the day after the date on the notice) and ends two years later, on 12 November 2017, so you have until that day to lodge a request for an amendment to that assessment.
You can submit more than one amendment request within a period of review.
The time limit gives you certainty about your tax affairs because it means ATO can’t amend your tax assessment after the time limit has passed (except in some exceptional situations such as evasion or fraud).
If you want to change a tax return after the time limit has passed you can’t request an amendment, but you may be able to lodge an objection. While the time limit for lodging amendments and objections is the same, you can request an extension of time to lodge an objection in some circumstances.
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