Haven’t lodged your tax return yet? Well, that’s good, taking your time means you’re much less likely to make a mistake.
The Australian Taxation Office recommends you wait till mid-late August when most data from employers, banks, government agencies and other third parties has been received and pre-filled.
Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson says there’s no need to rush and lodge a tax return and that most are better off taking their time and getting it right.
‘‘We know some taxpayers like to get in early and lodge in the first month of tax time, but our analysis shows that if you lodge in July, you’re far more likely to make a mistake by leaving out some of your income,’’ Ms Anderson said. ‘‘Waiting until this information is available will help you avoid mistakes. For many people waiting until August means all they have to do is double-check the information we have pre-filled, enter any deductions and then hit submit.’’
Ms Anderson says if you’re among the two to three million early birds expected to lodge in July, don’t panic if you’ve made a mistake or forgotten to include something.
It’s easy enough to lodge an amendment online at www.ato.gov.au/fixamistake
While there’s no hurry, if you’re lodging your own tax return, do make sure you get in before the 31 October deadline. Tax agents can lodge returns for clients later but you need have contacted them by 31 October.
Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson discusses what taxpayers need to remember to do if they choose to lodge their tax return in July and why they should consider waiting until mid-August when pre-fill is available.
Higher-than-expected tax deductions relating to cars, travel, clothing, internet, mobile phones and self-education expenses are among the top claims the tax office will be keeping a close eye on this tax time.
Ms Anderson said the ATO is using real-time data to compare taxpayers with others in similar occupations and income brackets, to identify higher-than-expected claims.
“The ATO scrutinises every return. We have the technology and experience to detect non-compliance and we are continuing to catch taxpayers who are deliberately doing the wrong thing,” Ms Anderson says. “There are three golden rules for taxpayers to remember to get it right: you have to have spent the money yourself and can’t have been reimbursed, the claim must be directly related to earning your income, and you need a record to prove it.”