Australians are being advised to lodge tax returns before the end of the month. As we enter the final fortnight of tax time, hundreds of thousands of them may still be missing out on their tax refunds.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is encouraging people to take advantage of potential refunds by lodging their return or engaging a tax agent by Thursday 31 October.
Last year, around 475,000 taxpayers who completed their own return lodged late. Of these late lodgers, over 300,000 had been missing out on refunds as a result.
Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat is highlighting the importance of not only meeting the deadline, but making sure you accurately complete your return. This means that all claims can be accounted for and all income is included.
“We know that tax can seem complicated, which is why we see so many people putting it off. People should know that it’s actually becoming increasingly quick and painless to lodge your return.
“Your tax return can be done from the comfort of your own living room, just by going online and logging into myTax (accessed via myGov). Some taxpayers have even told us that they’ve completed it while on the bus, it’s that easy. For the majority of taxpayers, this takes less than half an hour.
“If you are using a tax agent, you do have longer to have your return completed, but you need to be on their books by 31 October.
“Where people put off their returns and lodge at the last minute or even after the deadline, we also start to see some easily avoidable errors.
“One common thing we see is people losing track of receipts that have been thrown out by taxpayers thinking they didn’t need them anymore.
“People need to remember to keep receipts for all deductions they want to make. We can ask you to substantiate your claims at any time, even up to five years after the return is lodged.
“It can be difficult to keep track of all your physical receipts. That’s why keeping a digital copy, for example, through the ATO app’s myDeductions tool, can be a real lifesaver. In fact, we’ve already seen a 43 percent increase in myDeductions usage this year.
“We often hear some pretty creative excuses around tax time, ranging from why someone has lost their records, missed the deadline, excluded income or over claimed on deductions.”
For more information on preparing your own tax returns visit ato.gov.au/myTax.
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