Looking for information this tax time?

Our Tax Resources page provides tax insights, expert tips and tools, whether you want to calculate your income tax, are submitting your first tax return, seeking savings or preparing for retirement.
The information on this page is not personal tax advice, even if provided by a guest author(s) or interviewee(s). Please seek advice from a qualified tax adviser.

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar has an income tax calculator that can assist you to calculate your approximate income tax for the current financial year. The income tax calculator calculates the tax payable on gross wages paid in equal weekly amounts. The rates are obtained from the Australian Tax Office. No allowance is made for tax deductions, Medicare or other levies &/or payments.

Here are the Australian income tax rates and brackets for 2020/21 for Australian residents, according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO):

Total taxable income Tax rate
$0 – $18,200 No tax
$18,201 – $45,000 19c for each $1 over $18,200
$45,001 – $120,000 $5,092 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $45,000
$120,001 – $180,000 $29,467 plus 37c for each $1 over $120,000
$180,001 and over $51,667 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

Source: ATO, October 2020.

Generally not – standard practice is to only claim the tax-free threshold on one job at a time. The ATO says that in the case of people with two or more income sources in the same financial year, “we generally require that you only claim the tax-free threshold from the payer who usually pays the highest salary or wage”.

-Find out how a second income can affect your taxes

If your taxable income is less than $126,000, you may be eligible for the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO) or “Lamington”, as it’s colloquially known, for the FY20/21 and FY21/22 financial years. The offset helps low- and middle-income earners reduce the amount of tax paid. Eligible singles could save up to $1,080 per annum, and eligible couples up to $2,160, with the ATO working out if you are eligible after you lodge your tax return.

The following taxable income thresholds apply to the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset for FY21:

Taxable Income Amount Low And Middle Income Tax Offset
$37,000 or less $255
more than $37,000 but less than $48,000 $255 plus 7.5% of the amount above $37,000
more than $48,000 but less than $90,000 $1,080
more than $90,000 but less than $126,000 $1,080 minus 3% of the amount above $90,000

Source: ATO (2021)

More than 700 Australians were surveyed about their experiences in a Canstar Blue survey, with some of Australia’s biggest tax agencies featuring in Canstar Blue’s 2020 reviews and ratings. Canstar Blue’s research has revealed the main drivers of overall customer satisfaction for Aussies who use tax agents. These are:

  • Quality of advice provided: 34%
  • Value for money: 28%
  • Turnaround time: 19%
  • Customer service: 11%
  • Website navigation: 6%
  • Ease of applying: 2%

When you sell certain types of property, including real estate, the difference between how much you paid for it and how much you sold it for is known as capital gains (or potentially capital loss) and this may have tax implications for you. For instance, according to the ATO, if you profit from the sale of an investment property, that profit is considered a capital gain and must be declared on your income tax return.  The tax you have to pay on a capital gain is commonly known as capital gains tax or CGT, although it is technically part of your income tax, rather than a separate tax. 

Read the full story by Tuan Duong, Duo Tax

According to the capital gains tax six-year rule, you can use your home as an investment property for up to six years, and the ATO may still treat it as if it were your principal place of residence (PPOR) for capital gains tax purposes. So, a property investor can often also sell their property and not have to pay CGT.

Dealing with the tax implications of shares and ETFs can be very complex. Many investors use a tax agent to ensure that their return is completed accurately and it can make sense to take tax advice throughout all stages of your investment journey, from the initial investment right through to the sale of your portfolio. 

Read the full story by Mark Chapman, H&R Block

When you dispose of shares, assuming you are an investor, not a trader, you will normally have to pay capital gains tax (CGT) on any profits. Any shares acquired before 20 September, 1985 are not subject to CGT. CGT taxes any increase in value from the time the share was acquired.

Read the full story by Mark Chapman, H&R Block

An ETF takes the form of a trust and the return paid by an ETF is treated like a distribution from the trust. However, that return will incorporate many different components, such as dividends, franking credits, interest, foreign income and capital gains. Each of those individual elements then needs to be split out by you and entered into the correct boxes on your tax return. Fortunately, most ETF providers give investors a year-end tax statement. Make sure you look out for and keep your annual tax statement.

Read the full story by Mark Chapman, H&R Block

Editorial expertise

Canstar’s tax articles, including from our valued contributors, have been reviewed and edited by our experienced Sub Editors, Jacqueline Belesky and Tom Letts in Canstar’s Editorial Team.

Jacqueline brings more than 15 years of experience in journalism, editing, content strategy and public relations, and holds a Bachelor of Journalism (Distinction) and postgraduate qualifications in Writing, Editing and Publishing. She was previously a Global Content and Media Manager for ABB, overseeing communications for the Fortune 500 company’s energy business worldwide. In Australia, Jacqueline has held senior editorial roles for the Queensland Government, the University of Queensland and John Wiley & Sons. Jacqueline brings considerable experience editing specialist technical content for authors with varied areas of expertise, both in Australia and internationally.

Tom is an experienced editor with particular expertise in editing and proofreading technical legal, financial and news content. Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Honours). He has training as a lawyer, and previously worked as a solicitor, following several years as an Editor at Pacific Transcription, where he was responsible for editing a wide range of academic, legal, financial and media transcripts.

Last Updated: 07/05/2021

Important Information

Keep in mind while exploring our content that Canstar is not authorised or registered to provide legal, tax or accounting advice. The content on this page and in Canstar’s related tax articles is not intended to provide – and should not be relied upon – for legal, tax or accounting advice from Canstar. Consider the information having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. We recommend you seek advice from a qualified and registered (where applicable) tax accountant or other professional adviser before making any tax, financial or purchase decision.