“Why do I owe the ATO money after submitting tax return?” That is a common question that our client ask after submitting tax return. Here are some key reasons why:
- Your income increased from estimates used for tax withholding during the year
- You earned additional untaxed income like bonuses or investments profits
- You claimed inadequate amounts as tax deductions compared to what you were entitled to
- You started operating your own business or earned freelance/contractor income
- You sold investments or assets and made a capital gains taxable profit
- You received a HECS/HELP or other educational debt statement for repayment
By law in Australia, you must pay any outstanding tax due by the relevant lodgment due date, even if paid in installments. Filing accurately helps reduce surprises – but the ATO will issue a bill if payment is required to fully satisfy your tax liability.