Amending A Past Return If You’ve Made A Mistake Can Be Done – Here’s How

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It’s not the end of the world if you make a mistake on your tax return, particularly if it has already been submitted to the ATO.

If you make a mistake on your tax return, you generally have a couple of years to correct it, which can be done online

You may need to amend your tax return if you have:

  • made an error when answering a question
  • forgotten to include some income or a capital gain
    • Please remember to report all your income – it is common for individuals to forget to report cash income, foreign income and cryptocurrency gains.
  • forgotten to claim an offset or deduction
  • had something change after you lodged your tax return, such as
    • receiving a revised payment summary or another payment summary
    • your employer finalising or updating your income statement
    • repaying an amount of income you were overpaid.

You can lodge an amendment through your myGov account, through ATO’s online services, and then selecting “manage tax returns”. You should wait until your original tax return and amendments have been processed before you submit a consecutive amendment to the return.

This online amendment may take up to 20 business days to be processed once lodged. An amendment made in writing will take up to 10 weeks to process.

You can also speak with your registered tax agent, who can amend your tax returns on your behalf.

The myGov website will provide you with updates for both the tax returns and amendments, which should alert you of the progress being made. By the end of this process, it should show you how much money will be issued for your claim.

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, the ATO treats the amendment as a voluntary disclosure. Your voluntary disclosure needs to be in an approved form. For an amendment to your tax return the approved form is either:

  • an online amendment in ATO online services through myGov
  • the paper form ‘Request for amendment of income tax return for individuals’
  • a letter.

If you have questions about this process or want assistance, please contact your registered tax agent as soon as possible.

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