With 30 June fast approaching, one in four Australians are expected to use MyTax, the online lodgement platform, to complete their tax returns.
Despite the government’s attempts to make the software easier to use by increasing the number of pre-filled data, problems could arise in the future, an accountant has warned.
“The ATO has a pre-filling report where they receive information from banks and Centrelink and so forth about income received and basically under MyTax taxpayers can see what information is there and sign off on it,” ITP regional director Scott Bailey said.
While taxpayers are able to lodge their returns from 1 July, significant troves of information may not be up-to-date.
“The main problem is that a lot of the information that gets reported to the ATO is not available until later in the tax season,” Mr Bailey said.
“For instance, bank interest won’t be supplied by all institutions until August or September while things like managed fund tax statements normally don’t issue until around September.”
Consequently, a tax return consistent with MyTax data in July may be found to be false by the ATO later in the year.
“If someone downloads all this information and just assumes it’s correct without checking, quite often they’ll end up getting audited,” Mr Bailey said.
“The ATO might not pick up on it right then and there, but they might get a bill about a year down the track.”
Accordingly, taxpayers should exercise extra caution come the end of the financial year if they are completing their own returns, or seek out a tax agent who can review the pre-filled reports.