Individuals are being advised not to be too hasty with filing their tax returns early as there are additional complexities in play this year.
The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) said although there was often a ‘strong incentive’ to lodge early, the tax system was complex and taxpayers should not do so unless they were certain their information was correct.
It highlighted Parliament is yet to announce its increase in the low and middle income offset for the 2019 income year so the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will be unable to process a higher amount until this has been passed. The ATO said it would be able to amend a return if the law changes after a taxpayer receives their assessment.
Secondly, single touch payroll has come into administration which means some employers no longer need provide a payment summary to employees. The IPA said the information that is available in early July may not be accurate until the employer completes a finalisation process as third party data such as dividends and interest needs to be uploaded onto the ATO systems during July.
The ATO has the right to auto-amend a return which it has been doing for discrepancies, but interest and penalties can be applied by the body.
Lastly, the ATO will be using data analytics tools to highlight possible over-claiming on work-related deductions as there had been high error rates for both agent and non-tax agent returns.