A notice of assessment, along with your Income Tax Return, are possibly the most important documents you need when it comes to taxes in Australia.
Exactly what is a tax notice of assessment and what does it contain? When do you receive one and most importantly, how long does it take to process?
We have the answers and more.
What Is an ATO Notice of Assessment?
A notice of assessment is an itemised list containing all the important tax information you need to know, including details on your income, tax deductions, and other tax-related info.
It is issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), typically two weeks after you lodge your Income Tax Return.
What Does Notice of Assessment Include?
A notice of assessment usually contains the following information:
- Your taxable income for that income year;
- The amount of tax you owe (including the type of tax you are liable for);
- Credits you might have for the tax that has already been paid in that income year;
- The amount you tax you should be refunded for;
- If applicable, excess from private health insurance or refund.
Is a Notice of Assessment the Same as a Tax Return?
An Income Tax Return is lodged every year in Australia for that particular income year, which runs from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.
You need to lodge a tax return if:
- You have taxable income over $18,200;
- You have had tax withheld from wages or other payments;
- You are a foreign student or trainee with a study or training support loan;
- You pay or receive child support for the whole income year and your income is over $26,319;
- You are leaving the country for more than one income year;
- You want to claim tax deductions.
Confused about the difference between tax dedication and tax offset? Take a look at this guide for more information.
The best way to figure out if you need to lodge tax returns is to log onto your myGov account and check under ‘Do I need to lodge’. Then you can proceed to file your income tax return and receive your notice of assessment from the tax authorities in the country.
Notice of assessment, on the other hand, is the document the ATO sends after they have processed your Income Tax Return.
In summary, tax returns are something you need to lodge, and then you wait for the tax agency to send you the notice of assessment as confirmation that your tax return has been filed.
How to save on taxable income? We have 11 ways to help you do it.
When is the Notice of Assessment Sent?
As mentioned above, your notice of assessment is usually sent around two weeks after your franking credit or tax return lodgment.
The time it takes the ATO to send out the notice of assessment depends on the method in which the lodgment has been made.
For instance, paper lodged taxes take the longest to process. In this case, you might have to wait for up to 50 business days to receive your notice of assessment.
However, if the process is done online via MyTax, or through a tax agent, you should receive your notice a lot quicker, i.e. in 2 weeks.
Note: If you are paying additional tax on super, the ATO will need confirmation from your super fund as well as your income tax return before they can send out your notice of assessment.
Where Can I Find My Tax Notice of Assessment?
Your notice of assessment is sent to your myGov inbox. If you can’t find it there, you can:
- Log into your myGov account and go to the ATO section in services
- Choose ‘My Profile’ from the menu
- Go to ‘Communication’, and then ‘History’ in the drop-down menu.
You could also get your notice of assessment sent directly to your tax agent (if you have one).
How to Apply for a Tax Refund?
If you are eligible for franking credits, you will receive your refund automatically.
If you have lodged a tax return, then you have declared your dividend income in your tax return form, which encompasses unfranked amounts, franked amounts and franking credits.
If you are not required to file a tax return, you can still get a refund on your franking credits automatically. The difference is that the information is provided to the ATO by share registries, instead of on your tax return.
What if Tax Is Due on Your Notice of Assessment and You Don’t Pay?
If you’re unable to pay the amount you owe on time, you should contact the ATO so they can help you deal with your debt. Doing this is crucial as debt can easily become unmanageable—37% of debtors in the country have already stated that they can’t repay their debts.
If you have not paid your taxes by the due date, the ATO will charge interest on all unpaid amounts, which currently stand at an annual rate of 7.07%.
Any future payments will be used to return the money you’ve previously owned, resulting in new late payments. What’s more, if you are due tax refunds or credits, those will be used to settle your old bill with the ATO. Once your tax is paid off, any remaining credit will be refunded to you.
Stronger measures can sometimes be applied, including legal action, penalties and fines. Your debt to ATO will not be referred to external debt collectors, although there are instances where this may occur.
To learn more about what debt collectors can and can’t do in Australia, take a look at this article.
To avoid all of this, always make sure you lodge your tax returns, even if you’re unable to pay on time. That way, you’re avoiding fines, and you’ll show the ATO that you are aware of your responsibilities.
What Is a Statement of Account and When Would You Get One?
Sometimes you might receive a statement of account along with your notice of assessment. This happens when your account balance is not the same as the amount listed in your notice of assessment.
This could occur in the following situations:
- You have been charged a penalty or general interest;
- Interest has been credited to you by the ATO;
- You have filed tax returns for several income years on the same day;
- Credits to other tax debts have been offset, such as debts you might have with other government agencies or debts that have been put on hold;
- You have an account opening balance that is higher than zero.
What to Do if You Think the Notice of Assessment Is Wrong?
Since this is an important document, it is vital that you check it twice and ensure that all the details are correct. If you find any mistakes with your notice of assessment, you need to contact the ATO.
There are several ways to do this:
- Log in to your myGov account, and select ‘Contact us’;
- Call the ATO on 13 28 61;
- Write a letter to the Australian Taxation Office;
- Fill out an online feedback form.
You could also contact the ATO through their live chat or social media.
The time allotted for filing an objection can be from 60 days to four years.
There is also a chance to amend or correct your tax return after it’s been already sent out. You must do this within:
- Two years if you are a small or medium business;
- All other taxpayers have four years.
The time limit starts once the ATO sends out your notice of assessment for that income year.
Note: After you lodge a complaint with the ATO, a representative will call you within 3 business days. During the call, you need to have all your papers ready and above all be polite and considerate.
We hope that this guide answered all of your questions that came along with how to get notice of assessment from the ATO and what it contains.
Tax season can be stressful, but having all of the information, keeping organised records, and contacting a tax agent who will assist you with any tax-related issues will help.
1. How to get a copy of your notice of assessment?
If you own a MyGov account, your notice of assessment will be sent to you in your Inbox. You can save it or print it for safekeeping. If you need a copy, and you cannot find the original notice, you need to:
- Sign in to my.gov.au
- Select ATO
- Click on My Profile
- Go to the Communication part
- Select History
All of your notices will be there, and if you’re still having trouble, you can either contact the ATO, or your tax agent (if you have engaged the services of one).
2. Can you get your tax refund faster?
Filling your taxes electronically will instantly cut down on the time it takes to process them, and you’ll get your tax refund faster. But, if you are having serious financial issues, such as being unable to provide the basic necessities for yourself or your family, you could apply for priority processing.
3. How long does a tax Notice of Assessment take?
The answer depends on a few factors, including whether you filed your taxes electronically or by post. When filing a paper tax return, you can expect to receive a notice of assessment within ten working weeks, but if you filed electronically, expect your notice in two weeks.
4. What is a tax notice of assessment and why is it important?
Your notice of assessment serves as confirmation that the ATO has received your tax return lodgement as well as providing an itemised list of the tax you owe or any refunds payable to you. By checking your notice of assessment you are basically ensuring that your tax affairs are in order and that you’re paying the correct amount of taxes.