background image
14.3.2. Deadlines for Filing Corporate Tax Returns

Resident companies

Under the full self-assessment system, companies are required to submit their returns by specified due dates. The following due dates are applicable to the various classes of companies:

  • Entities qualifying as large and medium-sized companies (viz. annual total income exceeding AUD 10 million, etc.) in the previous income year: the fifteenth day of the seventh month after the end of the income year (i.e., 15 January in the case of companies following standard year ending 30 June);
  • Companies with an annual total income exceeding AUD 2 million in the previous income year: 31 March following the income year; and
  • Other entities: 15 May following the income year.

In practice, the Commissioner is usually prepared to grant an extension of time within which to file returns, including as part of an approach designed to ease the burden on tax agents who regularly submit returns on behalf of their clients.

Initially, certain large businesses were required to disclose their most contestable and material tax positions in the reportable tax position schedule (RTPS) of the income tax return only if notified in writing by the Commissioner of Taxation. Subsequently, the ATO expanded the RTPS requirement to include all companies in public or economic groups with a turnover greater than AUD 250 million for years ending on or after 30 June 2018.

From 30 June 2019, the ATO moved to a self-assessment system, under which the taxpayers are no longer notified of their obligation to lodge an RTPS. Taxpayers are required to self-assess the requirement to lodge the RTPS based on the following criteria and need to lodge the RTPS along with the tax return:

  • An early balancing taxpayer who had been notified of the requirement to lodge their RTP schedule;
  • A June or late balancer is:
    • lodging a company tax return for the year ending 30 June 2019 or later; and
    • a public or a foreign-owned company;
      • having total business income exceeding AUD 250 million for the year; or
      • total business income is between AUD 25 and AUD 250 million for the current year, and they are part of an economic group, and the total income of the group (sum of the income labels in the tax return of each group member) exceeds AUD 250 million in the current or the immediate prior year.

Taxpayers meeting the criteria are required to lodge the RTPS, even if there are no disclosures. In exceptional circumstances, a taxpayer not meeting the self-assessment criteria may also be required to lodge the RTPS.

From 1 July 2020, the ATO expanded the RTPS requirement to include large private companies. It is clarified that for the tax year 2021, private companies that have been notified in writing by the Commissioner of Taxation are required to lodge the RTP schedule.

The RTPS includes information related to the following three types of positions:

  • Category A – uncertain tax positions in the income tax return;
  • Category B – tax uncertainty in financial statements; and
  • Category C – reportable arrangements identified in guidance material released by the ATO.

Non-Resident Companies

The same deadlines as applicable to resident companies generally apply to non-resident companies.

Payment of Tax

Companies normally pay taxes in quarterly installments per year under a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) system towards their expected tax liability at the end of the income year. The total amount paid under the installment system is then credited against the taxpayer’s final assessment, following which a refund of tax may be made, or outstanding tax is paid. The amount payable per installment is usually calculated by the tax authorities and notified in advance to the taxpayer based on the taxpayer’s income in the previous year, adjusted to reflect actual installment income earned in the quarter.

For a company with the normal 30 June year ending, the installment payments are usually for the quarters ending 30 September, 31 December, 31 March, and 30 June, and the due dates for the payment of the installments are 28 October, 28 February, 28 April, and 28 July, respectively.

COVID-19 Emergency Measures

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia allowed taxpayers to opt for an instalment payment plan for payment of outstanding taxes (including the PAYG applicable for the year ending 30 June 2022) without interest and penalties on a case-to-case basis. It is clarified that interest and penalties incurred after 23 January 2020 will be considered.

Availability of E-Filing

An electronic lodgment system exists for taxpayers as well as participating tax agents to submit tax returns and other tax forms. Among other things, the system provides for a faster turnaround in the processing of tax claims.