In today’s blog, we’ll talk about amending your tax return when it comes to income repayments, whether you are entitled to it or not.

Exception to Repaying Income

If you need to repay income from a previous year, you can amend your return except when it’s from lump sum compensation or work injury payments.

Entitled to the Income

You are liable to income if you are paid an amount correctly that is due to you. You may need to amend your tax return if you have to repay that amount later. For instance, you get a payment on the condition that you’ll stay with an employer for a specific time period but you don’t satisfy the condition and you have to repay the employer. Here’s what to do:

  • Repay the amount
  • No deductions allowed
  • Not from a lump sum settlement

Example – Entitled to Income

Charlotte is an ADF member. She got a $50,000 retention bonus but had to repay part of it when she left early. After paying back $20,000, she amended her tax return for that year.

Not Entitled to the Income

Now, if you are not entitled to income due to an error like an overpaid pension or salary, no need to repay first. Just use the corrected paperwork. Your employer provides when amending easy, right? Remember whether entitled or not you can amend your return for income repayments.

When You Should Request to Amend Your Tax Return?

You can request online, ask a small business accountant, or by paper, you can fix a mistake, amend your tax return, or include additional information. Sole traders and individuals can request an amendment to tax return if:

  • they have made a mistake
  • forgotten to add something
  • had a change in situation after filing.

You don’t have to submit another tax return unless the ATO asks you to, and the ATO doesn’t charge a fee if you ask for an amendment. You should save a copy of your request for your records if you are submitting a form or letter. You can always access your information if you use ATO’s online services.

If you are unsure whether you are reporting the proper information, you can check the ATO’s website to see check:

  • general advice for
    • tax offsets
    • deductions you can claim
    • income you must declare
  • tools and calculators

You must have basic information about how and when you can request tax return amendments. If you have a taxation accountant, then they will keep you up-to-date with this type of news.

Time Restrictions on Tax Return Amendments

Sole traders and individuals have 2 years to submit an amendment to their tax return. This time begins from the day after you receive notice of assessment. For instance, if notice of assessment marks the date 1 November 2023, then your amendment time period starts on November 2, 2023. This means that you have until 1 November 2025 to ask for a tax return revision.

The system of self-assessment includes amendments. In other words, the ATO takes the facts in your amendment at their value. The statute establishes deadlines for tax assessment amendments. After this point, you might have to submit an objection instead.

You can object if you like to:

  • dispute the law
  • dispute the facts the ATO has used to a decision about your tax affairs
  • file an amendment outside of the time limits.

The deadline for filing revisions and objections is the same, however, in rare cases, you can ask for a longer period of time to file an objection. Within a review period, you may submit more than one amendment request.

The time restriction gives you peace of mind about your tax affairs since it prevents the ATO from changing your tax assessment after the deadline has passed (unless in rare circumstances like evasion or fraud).


The blog shares how a sole trader or individuals can amend their tax return like a pro. However, if you don’t have enough time to do it, then you can seek help from a professional tax return accountant. Despite this, you can ask Reliable Melbourne Accountants to deal with your tax matters.

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