Powered by momentummedia
nestegg logo
Powered by momentummedia
Powered by momentummedia
nestegg logo
nestegg logo

 

 

Earn

How to make 2020 tax time even easier

  • June 17 2020
  • Share

Earn

How to make 2020 tax time even easier

By Grace Ormsby
June 17 2020

Self-lodging your tax return in 2020? Here’s what you can do before the end of the financial year to ensure tax time is as quick, secure and smooth as possible.

How to make 2020 tax time even easier

How to make 2020 tax time even easier

author image
  • June 17 2020
  • Share

Self-lodging your tax return in 2020? Here’s what you can do before the end of the financial year to ensure tax time is as quick, secure and smooth as possible.

How to make 2020 tax time even easier

The Australian Taxation Office has urged Australians to act now if they plan to lodge their own tax return this tax time.

Assistant commissioner Karen Foat has advised that “if you are planning on lodging your own return, you can’t beat the ease and accessibility of the ATO’s online myTax service”.

With the service having almost completely replaced paper lodgments, Ms Foat said myTax can process most refunds in less than two weeks, with many taking even less time.

“Most people with simple tax affairs can lodge in under half an hour from the comfort of their own homes,” she highlighted, with a majority of people able to benefit from their income being automatically included in their return by the end of July.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“But there are two main speed bumps that taxpayers hit when lodging online via myTax for the first time,” the assistant commissioner did concede, which is why the department has released the following advice:

  1. Link your myGov account to the ATO

Ms Foat’s number one piece of advice for people who are going to use myTax for the first time?

“Log in to your myGov account and link to the ATO well before tax time.”

She explained that you’ll be prompted to answer two questions, based on your records, such as an income statement or Centrelink payment summary from the past two years, or your bank account detail.

Anyone who doesn’t have enough information to confirm their identity will need to phone the ATO to get a unique linking code, which can be entered instead of answering the questions.

To speed up this process, taxpayers should have their identification information ready when they call the ATO, such as their Tax File Number and a driver’s licence or Medicare card. 

The assistant commissioner flagged needing a linking code as the number one reason that people called the ATO last July. 

While calling it a vote of confidence from taxpayers eager to use myTax, she advised that “it is a faster process if you get organised early”. 

“If you need to call us to link, we encourage you to do so now so that you don’t hit any delays when you choose to lodge your tax return. If you need a linking code, June is a great time to get that sorted.” 

When an individual’s myGov account is linked to the ATO, they can not only lodge their tax returns during tax time, but also track refunds, access past tax records, manage any super accounts and view income statements.

In addition, linking myGov to the ATO also allows sole traders eligible for JobKeeper, or wishing to manage their business obligations, to enrol and nominate through ATO online services via myGov.

  1. Ensure your income details are complete

The second major delay for self-lodgers, according to Ms Foat, is people lodging before they have all of the information about their income.

Income statements have now replaced payment summaries for most Australians, meaning that instead of receiving a payment summary from an employer, most people’s income statements will be finalised electronically and provided directly to the ATO.

This information is viewable through myGov, with the information automatically included in your myTax return by the ATO.

Tax agents are also able to see this information.

While income statements are viewable “in near real time”, the ATO has cautioned that “it is important to wait until it is finalised before lodging a tax return”.

Employers have until 31 July to do so – with the ATO advising Australians to wait until this has been done.

According to the assistant commissioner, the Tax Office will “often see people too eager to get a tax refund making obvious mistakes, which can either delay processing the tax return or result in a bill later on”.

She considered it “important to check that your employer has finalised the information in your income statement and it is marked as ‘tax ready’ before you lodge”.

As well as your income statement, “other information from banks, health funds and government agencies will also be automatically inserted into your tax return – for most people, this will happen by the end of July.”

Ms Foat explained that “lodging once we have included all of your information in your tax return makes it even easier, but if you are lodging before then, make sure the information provided is complete, accurate and up to date to avoid delays or a debt later on”.


Did you enjoy this article? You may also be interested in:

How to make 2020 tax time even easier
How to make 2020 tax time even easier
nestegg logo

Forward this article to a friend. Follow us on Linkedin. Join us on Facebook. Find us on Twitter for the latest updates
Rate the article

About the author

author image

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

more on this topic

more on this topic

From the web

Recommended by Spike Native Network

More articles

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.