ATO warns on rush job to file tax returns

end of financial year taxation ATO tax return

24 June 2024
| By Laura Dew |
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The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned individuals not to rush filing their tax return when the new financial year hits next week.

ATO assistant commissioner, Rob Thomson, said those who lodge in early July are twice as likely to make a mistake than those who take their time.

This could include failing to include bank interest, dividend income or private health insurance details.

If they wait a few more weeks, then information from employers, banks and government agencies will likely be automatically loaded into the tax return, which reduces the likelihood of a mistake.

“Tax time is not a race, and there is a much higher chance that your return will be missing important information if you lodge in early July. This is particularly relevant if you are receiving income from multiple sources.

“We see lots of mistakes where people who rush to lodge early have forgotten to include interest from banks, dividend income, payments from government agencies and private health insurance details.”

Last tax year, the ATO received 13.7 million individual tax return lodgments, and more than 5.6 million were lodged by self-prepares and more than 8 million were lodged by tax agents.

Thomson recommended individuals take action by gathering the necessary records and receipts, ensuring their details are up-to-date, and reviewing the ATO occupation guides to assess what they are entitled to expense.

If details like contact details or bank details need to be updated after the return is lodged, this can cause delays.

“Once your information has been pre-filled and finalised by your employer, your income statement will be marked as ‘tax ready’,” Thomson said.

“You can check if your employer has marked your income statement as ‘tax ready’ as well as if your pre-fill is available in myTax before you lodge. Once the information we collect is available, all you need to do is check it and add anything that’s missing.”

If changes do need to be made, this can be done via the ATO online amendment process through the myGov website or their registered tax agent.

Earlier this month, Money Management shared tips for ETF investors at the end of the financial year. This includes lower capital gains tax liabilities than actively managed funds, access to franking credits, and less tax for long-term investors.

 

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