With only a week before the 31 October deadline, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is urging those who haven’t already to lodge and finalise their tax return or engage with a registered tax agent to avoid late lodgment penalties.
ATO Assistant Commissioner Rob Thomson said more than 9.5 million people have already lodged their returns, but we know there are still more to go.
‘We've seen a last minute rush in recent weeks with lodgments increasing by 14%, but there are still some people yet to lodge,’ Mr Thomson said.
’Whatever the reason for waiting until the last minute, it’s important to lodge your tax return on time, or engage with a registered tax agent before 31 October.
State by state lodgments as at 19 October
- ACT: 178,754
- NSW: 2,808,747
- NT: 90,026
- QLD: 2,004,615
- SA: 659,753
- TAS: 215,990
- VIC: 2,324,140
- WA: 1,087,635
People with simple affairs can lodge online using ATO online services with myTax, accessed through myGov, often in under 30 minutes. 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.
‘For people with straight-forward affairs, lodging should take less time than mowing the lawn or folding the laundry,’ Mr Thomson said.
If you need a helping hand, or have more complex tax affairs, you may like to engage with a registered tax agent. To check whether an agent is registered, visit the Tax Practitioners’ Board register.
Additionally, the Tax Help program is a free and confidential service open to people who earn $60,000 or less each year and have simple tax affairs. The program is available until the end of October.
Mr Thomson has some handy reminders for those who haven’t yet lodged.
- Claiming deductions: ‘It may be tempting to boost your refund by leaving out income or inflating your deductions – but remember, the ATO has sophisticated data analytics that will flag claims that look suspicious.’
- Record keeping: ‘Keep in mind that when you claim a deduction you must have a record to prove it. A receipt or other record will help you get your claim right the first time. One of the main reasons a deduction is disallowed during an audit is because a record wasn’t provided to verify the expense.’
- Occupation guides: ‘Go to ato.gov.au/occupations and check out the 40 occupation and industry specific guides that can help you understand what you can and can’t claim this tax time.’
- Payment due date: ‘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.’
- Check your details: ‘If you are expecting a refund, remember to check your bank account details are up-to-date, as this is a common reason for delayed refunds.’
The ATO also provides digital tools, including myTax, the ATO app, and online services for individuals, businesses, tax agents which can be used to resolve a range of queries and perform specific actions on accounts.
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.
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