For most people, lodging taxes is a pretty simple process. They just pass their payment summary to their accountant and their return is taken care of automatically.

But what if you don’t have a payment summary? Suddenly things become a lot more difficult. Don’t worry, while lodging a return without a payment summary is more difficult, it’s not impossible.

Be on the lookout for your payment summaries

You should receive a payment summary from each employer you worked for or payer you received income from during the financial year, including Centrelink. Each payment summary shows the income you received from that payer and the amount of tax that was withheld. It may also show allowances, fringe benefits, and other payments related to tax and super.

Examples of PAYG summaries are:

  • PAYG payment summary – individual non-business (NAT 0046)
  • PAYG payment summary – employment termination payment (NAT 70868)
  • PAYG payment summary – superannuation lump sum (NAT 70947)
  • PAYG payment summary – superannuation income stream (NAT 70987)

Missing payment summaries

Here’s what to do if you do not receive (or lose) a payment summary:

1. Contact your employer (or other payer) and ask them for a copy of your payment summary. If you did receive a payment summary, but it’s incorrect, you should also contact your employer.

2. If you can’t get an actual copy of your payment summary from your employer, ask them for a signed letter stating the income they paid you and the tax withheld for the financial year.

3. If your employer provides electronic details to the ATO, you may be able to obtain this information through the pre-filling service in the ATO’s e-tax software. Likewise, AGILIS CA may also be able to look this information up on the tax agent portal. Be aware, however, that the information the ATO has received may be incomplete. It is always better to get it straight from the source if at all possible.

4. Reviewing your payslips, time-sheets or bank statements could provide the information needed for your PAYG payments.

5. As a last resort, if you cannot obtain information through any of the sources listed above, you can estimate your income and withholding for each of your employers. The ATO provides a tool you can utilise called the “Gross Pay Estimator” which will provide you an estimate of your gross pay based on your net pay. You will need to calculate each pay period separately, and then total them to calculate your income.