The opportunity to pay income tax in instalments, rather than once per year, was introduced in 1941.
Individuals may be liable for a range of personal taxes. These taxes can be imposed on income earned, purchasing goods or services, selling CGT assets and other transactions.
You have a legal responsibility to know what taxes you are liable to pay. You can't claim, 'I didn't know I had to pay tax on it'. The Australian income tax system relies on taxpayers self-assessing, which means you are responsible for working out how much you need to declare and can claim on your tax return. You provide this information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) which then calculates how much income tax you must pay.
Details of how income tax works are described in other topics in this module.