Lodging a tax return

If you earned Australian income between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023, you may need to lodge a tax return. If you're doing your own tax, you have until 31 October to lodge your return.

Simple steps to lodge your 2023

Lodge online with myTax

You can lodge your return using myTax, the ATO’s free online tax return. You need a myGov account linked to the ATO to lodge online. Returns lodged this way are usually processed within two weeks.

Lodging with myTax is easy and free. Most information from employers, banks, government agencies and health funds will be automatically included in your tax return by late July. You just check the information is correct, enter any income that isn’t included, add any deductions you have, and then submit. MyTax will then calculate your tax for you.

The ATO has ‘how-to’ videos to help you lodge online using myTax.

Declare all your income

Most of your income will be pre-filled from details the ATO receives from your employer and financial institutions. There may be other income you need to add yourself.

Common types of income that must be declared includes:

  • employment income
  • government payments
  • super pensions and annuities
  • investment income (including interest, dividends, rent and capital gains)
  • income from the sharing economy (for example Uber or Airbnb)
  • compensation and insurance payments
  • foreign income

Visit the ATO’s website for more information on income you must declare.

Claim your tax deductions

Tax deductions can help to reduce your taxable income.

You may be entitled to claim a deduction for work-related or investment expenses. 

Working from home deductions

If you’re an employee who works from home, you may be able to claim a deduction.

To calculate your working from home deductions for the 2022-23 income year, you can use the fixed rate method or the actual cost method. 

To claim a deduction, you must keep records of your working from home expenses. The type of records you need to keep will depend on the method you choose. 

Changes to the fixed rate method

You no longer need a dedicated home office to use the fixed rate method. The fixed rate method has also been revised this year to allow you to claim 67 cents per hour for expenses such as:

  • data and internet
  • mobile and home phone usage
  • electricity and gas

Actual cost method

The actual cost method allows you to claim a deduction for the actual expenses you incur from working from home. If you choose this method, you need to keep detailed records of running expenses. For example, the cost per unit of electricity used. 

The ATO has more information about how to calculate working from home expenses.

Other work-related expenses

To claim a deduction for work-related expenses:

  • you must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
  • the expense must be directly related to earning your income
  • you must have a record to prove it (usually a receipt)

If the expense was for both work and private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion.

Here are some common work-related expenses you may be able to claim. 

Car and travel 

You may be able to claim the work-related use of a car you own when you drive:

  • to and from an alternative workplace for the same employer on the same day
  • between home and work in limited circumstances, such as when you carry bulky tools and equipment 

You can’t claim a deduction for:

  • normal trips between your home and work, even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or work outside normal business hours
  • if your car is held under a novated lease in the name of your employer or spouse

Clothing and uniforms

You can claim the cost of work-related clothing if it falls under one of the following categories.

Compulsory uniform – To claim the cost of a work uniform, it needs to be distinctive to your employer. You must also be explicitly required to wear the uniform by a workplace agreement policy. 

Protective – You can claim a deduction for the cost of clothing and footwear you wear to protect yourself from injury or illness at work. The clothing must have features or functions that distinguish it from regular clothing, for example steel-capped boots. There must also be a link between your work-related activities, the risks presented by your work environment, and the protective clothing.

Occupation specific – You can claim a deduction for occupation specific clothing that is associated with a particular profession, trade, vocation, occupation or calling. For example, a judge’s robes or a chef’s chequered pants. This does not include items that are traditionally worn by several professions. For example, work wear worn by tradespeople. 


If the study directly relates to your current job, you may be able to claim expenses. For example, course fees, textbooks, stationery, internet, home office expenses and professional journals.

The study must maintain or improve your skills or knowledge, or be likely to increase your income, from your current job. You can’t claim a deduction if your study is designed to help you get a new job.

Tools and other equipment

The cost of tools or equipment can be claimed as a deduction if you use them for a work-related purpose. Tools and equipment are generally depreciating assets. If they cost you more than $300, you can only claim a deduction for its decline in value over the life of the asset. 

The ATO have created occupation and industry guides and information about work-related deductions to help you work out what you can and can’t claim. 


Other deductions

Other items you can claim include:

  • union fees
  • the cost of managing your tax affairs
  • income protection insurance (if it’s not paid through your super fund)
  • personal super contributions you paid to your super fund
  • gifts and donations to organisations that are endorsed by the ATO as deductible gift recipients

Investment expenses

You may be able to claim the cost of earning interest, dividends or other investment income.

Examples include:

  • interest charged on money borrowed to invest
  • investment property expenses
  • investing magazines and subscriptions
  • money you paid for investment advice

The ATO has more information about investment income deductions.

Keep a record of your expenses

To claim a deduction, you must have a record to prove you incurred the expense and how you calculated your claim. 

The ATO app makes it easier to do your tax return. You can record:

  • expenses and deductions
  • vehicle trips
  • income (if you’re a sole trader)
  • photos of your invoices and receipts

It’s a convenient way to keep your records in one place. Then at tax time, you can upload the data directly into your tax return or email a copy to your tax agent.

Get help from a registered tax agent

If you want to use a professional to do your tax return, make sure you use a registered tax agent. You can check if the accountant or agent is registered on the tax practitioner register.

Most registered agents have special lodgment schedules and can lodge returns for their clients later than the 31 October deadline.

Whichever way you choose to lodge your tax return, remember you are responsible for the claims you make. Make sure your deductions are legitimate and you include all your income before you or your agent lodges your return.

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