As the 31 October deadline approaches, the Australian Taxation office (ATO) is reminding people to lodge their returns or engage with a registered tax agent to avoid late lodgment penalties.
ATO Assistant Commissioner Rob Thomson said more than 7.9 million people have already lodged their returns, which is about 400,000 less lodgments than this time last year.
‘If your long weekend plans are filled with DIY projects, how about you add your ‘DIY’ tax return to the list?’ Mr Thomson said.
People with simple affairs can lodge online, often in under 30 minutes, through myGov. Most of the information you need will already be pre-filled – just check it's correct, add any additional income, and claim the deductions you're entitled to.
‘DIY projects can get pretty complicated, but unlike flatpack furniture, doing your own tax return can be simple thanks to the data we pre-fill for you and the in-built help. But if you do need some help, you may like to speak with a tax agent to give you a hand.’
‘Remember to only use a registered tax agent, and to get on their books by 31 October,’ Mr Thomson said.
To check whether an agent is registered, visit the Tax Practitioners’ Board register.
The ATO is also reminding people to make sure their claims for work-related expenses accurately reflect their working arrangements this year – don’t just copy and paste claims from last year.
‘We want people to get their deductions right on the first go and claim what they are entitled to – nothing more, nothing less. We have a series of 40 occupation and industry-specific guides which you should have a look at.’
‘It may be tempting to boost your refund by leaving out income or inflating your deductions – but remember, we have sophisticated data analytics that will pick up returns that look suspicious.’
The ATO is reminding the community that the outcome of their tax returns this year may be different than in previous years, with some people receiving a lower refund than expected, or even a tax bill.
‘If you don’t receive a refund this year and you don’t have a bill, it means you’ve paid the correct amount of tax throughout the year. You may receive a bill for a number of reasons, one of which could be because you didn’t pay enough tax,’ Mr Thomson said.
The ATO is also reminding the community that the due date for payment is 21 November, regardless of when you lodge. If you are using a registered tax agent your due date may be later.
‘If you’ve received a tax bill, you need to pay it in full and on time to avoid interest charges. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, we’re here to help. You can contact us or speak to your tax agent before the due date to discuss the support available,’ Mr Thomson said.
Notes to journalists
- For more information for failure to lodge on time penalties see our website
- ATO file footage is available for use in news bulletins from our media centre.
- A headshot of ATO Assistant Commissioner Rob Thomson is available for download from our media centre.
Mediaunit@ato.gov.au | 02 6216 1901