A new way to file your taxes
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has discontinued receiving claims from e-Tax software starting tax time this year, paving the way for the improved version of the web-based system called myTax, first launched in 2014. The latest release promises to “do everything e-Tax could do and more,” according to Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte.
If you haven't already, now is the best time to lodge your tax returns, as most institutions have submitted their records to ATO, providing pre-fill data for your myTax claim. By now bugs and other issues would have been identified and resolved.
Ready to accept claims since the start of July, myTax aims to reduce the time it normally takes to lodge tax returns. You may access the online tool via smartphone, tablet and computer. It comes with fully integrated tools and tax calculators for specific tax assessment types such as enabling property investors to monitor record depreciation and capital allowances.
About the same time last year, ATO’s systems collapsed, resulting in unreliable access to myGov, myTax and lodgements through e-Tax. By concentrating computing power to cloud solutions, the system has since improved, preventing a repeat of the incident.
According to Whyte, around 3 million Australians use myTax or e-Tax to prepare their tax returns over the past few years. The ATO hopes to see 3 million lodgements in 2016 made through myTax. The Office estimates that around 74 % of Australians utilises tax agents for lodging returns and they typically shell out between $300 to $400.
Whyte also stresses the importance of using registered tax agents since they are the only ones who can charge fees for processing tax returns. Taxpayers can look up registered agents on the Tax Practitioner Board website.
For first-time lodgers, the ATO has the following tips for hassle-free filing:
- Secure a tax file number first. If you don’t have a TFN, you will be taxed more on your pay and you will not be able to lodge your return.
- Make sure that you REALLY need to lodge. Use the ATO’s online tool to find out.
- You need to create a myGov account to access myTax and ATO’s other online services.
- Include work-related expenses in your claim. This applies especially if you work outdoors and you need to purchase a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. No kidding.
- Declare other types of assessable income. Money earned from odd jobs or renting spaces are some of the examples, which you should include in your tax return.
- You have to lodge by October 31. If you plan to use a tax agent, coordinate with him to make sure you meet the deadline.
- Check the progress of your lodges. You can use your myGov account for tracking, whether you used myTax or a tax agent. Returns are usually processed within 2 weeks.
MyTax is a concrete evidence of how cloud solutions resolve end-user problems at a large scale, allowing the enterprise to focus on the user experience of online interactions, as opposed to dealing with various machines and devices that pose complicated requirements when installing software.
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