Last day to avoid $1000 fine

TODAY is the last day to lodge your tax return or register with a tax agent, with possible fines of up to $1000 for stragglers.

As of last night there were around four million taxpayers who had not yet lodged returns for the 2017-18 financial year, the majority of which the ATO expects to be lodged by agents over the coming months.

"We are expecting at least 100,000 people will lodge via myTax today," ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said.

The majority of taxpayers who have lodged their returns via myTax took less than 30 minutes. Ms Anderson said the current numbers were consistent with other years and "slightly ahead of last year in terms of lodgements received".

It’s the last day to get your tax return in or cop a $1000 fine.
It’s the last day to get your tax return in or cop a $1000 fine.

"Our early analysis of myTax lodgers has identified that some self-preparers who were behind in their lodgements have now caught up," she said.

"We will continue to focus on others who are behind in their lodgements and try to assist them to get back on track."

About 84 per cent of Australians receive a tax refund averaging $2500.

The ATO said sometimes retirees or low-income earners didn't realise they needed to lodge. Others might be expecting a large debt, such as capital gains tax from selling a property, and assume if they don't lodge they can avoid it.

Others might be already behind in their lodgements and are putting it off because they're worried about penalties, some might be expecting a small refund but don't think it's a big priority, while some may simply be disorganised.

"If you lodge after the deadline, you might incur penalties," Ms Anderson said.

"The penalty for failing to lodge is $210 for every 28 days that your return is overdue, up to a maximum of $1050. So even if you miss the deadline, get your return in as quickly as you can or contact us if you are having difficulties."