If your company has made a loss, you may be able to claim a tax refund for tax previously paid on profits. 

In the 2020-21 Federal Budget, the Government announced that businesses with a turnover under $5bn* will be able to offset any losses made between 2019-20 and 2021-22 against previously taxed profits between 2018-19 and 2020-21.

The company can choose to carry-back a loss or carry it forward. That is, tax losses for the 2019-20, 2020-21 or 2021-22 income years can either be:

  • Carried forward and deducted against income derived in later income years; or
  • Carried back against income of earlier income years as far back as the 2018-19 income year to produce a refundable tax offset.

Previously, tax losses could only be carried forward and deducted against income in later income years.

 

Claiming the refundable tax offset

Businesses will need to elect to utilise their carry-back losses when they lodge their 2020-21 and 2021-22 tax returns. That is, even if the company made a loss in the 2019-20 year, it cannot claim that loss until the 2020-21 tax return is lodged.

For the 2020-21 income year, a loss carry-back tax offset may be available to a company if:

  • it has a tax loss in the 2019-20 income year and/or the 2020-21 income year;
  • it has an income tax liability in the 2018-19 income year and/or the 2019-20 income year; and
  • for the 2020-21 income year and each of the previous five income years, either the entity has lodged an income tax return; the entity was not required to lodge a return; or the Commissioner has made an assessment of the entity’s income tax.