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5 tips as tax deadline looms

  • October 23 2020
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5 tips as tax deadline looms

By Cameron Micallef
October 23 2020

Australians are being warned that they have just two weeks left to get their finances in order if they have not posted a tax return yet.

5 tips as tax deadline looms

5 tips as tax deadline looms

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  • October 23 2020
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Australians are being warned that they have just two weeks left to get their finances in order if they have not posted a tax return yet.

5 tips as tax deadline looms

Under Australian tax law, individuals must lodge a claim by 31 October if they do not have a professional accountant making a claim for them.

“If your tax return isn’t lodged by the due date, you could receive a late lodgment penalty which, if left for too long, can equate to a maximum of $1,110,” Chartered Accountant Australia and New Zealand senior tax advocate Susan Franks said. 

With only two weeks to go until the tax deadline, Ms Franks has provided taxpayers with five handy tips to get the most out of this tax season.

  1. Know the deadline date and gather information 

Ms Frank has told consumers to be aware of the 31 October deadline for those who are doing their tax return themselves.

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She also told consumers to make sure they have all their paperwork ready to go.

“The ATO will have pre-filled a lot of information in your tax return – such as salary and wages,  interest and dividend income, medical insurance and bank account details to send your refund to,” she said.

“You will need to confirm that these details are true and correct, that you have reported all your  income and have the necessary records to support your deductions.  

“Before you lodge, you should have on hand your tax file number, income sources, bank account  details, Medicare information and, if you are married, details of your spouse’s taxable income. 

“You should also have records supporting any deductions that you are claiming,” Ms Frank explained.

  1. The deadline extension loophole 

Ms Frank also said that while individual tax returns are due on 31 October, those lodging through an accountant will be entitled to a longer period – subject to the taxpayer’s lodgment history.

“To be eligible for the extension, you need to see your local Chartered Accountant prior to 31 October,  and remember, the cost for this is completely tax deductible,” she explained.

  1. Report all income 

Ms Frank told those who are declaring their own tax returns to look out for all income they have earned and not just the government’s pre-filled statement.

“Any income received from second jobs will also need to be reported, as well as any government payments. This includes money earned from providing ridesharing or accommodation services,” Ms Frank said.

“The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) receives information about these payments, so ensure that you  report them in your tax return to avoid questioning from the ATO.” 

  1. Low interest payment plans  

For those struggling to find the cash to pay their tax, there is the option of engaging in a tax debt  payment plan with the ATO, to help you pay existing and ongoing tax liabilities.

Anyone struggling with the financial impact of COVID-19 should discuss this with the ATO or your Chartered Accountant, rather than hoping the ATO goes away, according to Ms Frank.

  1. Still miss the tax return deadline?  

If for whatever reason life gets in the way and you miss the deadline, Ms Frank concluded that the important thing to do is to speak with the ATO as soon as possible.

5 tips as tax deadline looms
5 tips as tax deadline looms
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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