Lodging Your Return
Lodging your tax return has never been easier for individuals. There are a number of methods available, catering from online to paper lodgement.
If you are making your lodgement yourself, then the ATO has two online methods available: myTax and e-tax.
The myTax application and the e-tax system both allow you to quickly and conveniently complete your tax return online. They also pre-fill any available information for you, but it is important to check the accuracy of all fields and information as providing misleading information is not only an offence but mistakes will slow down the process.
The myTax application is available on desktop, tablet and mobile, and is suitable for those with relatively simple tax affairs. For example, if you were an Australian resident for the full year and your only source of income was from salary, dividends and interest, and your deductions are equally derived, then you can use this function.
E-tax is better suited to individuals that have more complicated tax situations. For example, in addition to your salary, you may have business income, rental income or capital gains or losses from investments. This system steps you through the process including relevant deductions and eligibility requirements.
If lodging your own return, using one of the online methods is the fastest method, with returns being processed within 12 days. On the contrary, the paper method can take up to 50 days.
In addition to the online self lodgement methods, you can also lodge your tax return through paper methods (by completing the ATO's paper tax return) or engage a registered tax agent to lodge on your behalf
Hiring a pro
Hiring a professional tax agent is another way to lodge your tax return, and this method is recommended because a trained tax agent is likely to get you much more bang for your buck than if you do it yourself.
For example, they know how much of your Internet costs can be claimed on tax if you occasionally work from home, and if you have a second job they can help to deduct the travel costs of travelling from one workplace to another.
These are the primary benefits of using a registered tax agent:
- You can extend your lodgement deadline, as registered tax agents can legally apply for extensions on tax returns.
- They know what is tax deductible and what you can claim for.
- They will ensure that if there are any errors on your return it is dealt with smoothly, to reduce stress and save time for you.
- It is possible to hire a tax agent/accountant who specialises in your field or industry, meaning they are much more up to date with the relevant tax laws and deductibles, and are able to apply this knowledge to your tax return.