Do you think lodging an Personal Income Tax Return is a challenging and daunting task? Well, up to a certain extent, it is. But, if you have sufficient preparations for it, the process will look much easier. If you earn a regular income, you may be eligible to claim some work-related costs and part of your income in the tax return. If you want to know which expenses you can claim as deductibles or which you cannot, you can visit the official website of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Here we discuss the essential factors of lodging a tax return to help you understand the whole process.
How Can You Personal Income Tax Return?
To prepare your personal income tax return, you should first ensure that you have the following information in your hands.
- You will need an individual Tax File Number (TFN).
- Next, you should give your income statement, which can be accessed from different ATO online services via myGov. Instead of the income statement, you can also provide a payment summary issued by your employer. You can check the website of ATO to see how you can access your income statement or payment summary.
- If you have received any interest on the bank accounts, you must have a summary for it.
- Relevant information will be necessary if you have any investment income like dividends, shares, or managed funds.
- Other information that you will require includes a statement of private health insurance, child support payment details, receipts for work-related costs and charity donations.
- Last but not least, you should also give the Bank State Branch (BSB) number and the bank account number. It will help the authority identify your account where they will transfer the due refund if any.
Some Important Tips On Lodging A Tax Return
Here we give a few tips on lodging a tax return.
- Most important documents are available on different insurance providers, banks, and government agencies like Centrelink and Medicare. You can check the website of the provider for specific details.
- Downloading a summary of the interest earned on the personal bank accounts is also easy. You will need to open the NetBank website, log in, click on the ‘view accounts’ button, then ‘More,’ and in the last step, ‘Interest & tax summary.’
- Are you a CommSec customer? If yes, you can easily download a summary of the financial year by first logging into CommSec, then clicking ‘Portfolio’ and ‘Statements.’
Can You Lodge Your Own Tax Return?
There are two ways of lodging the tax return. You can choose lodging it directly through the ATO website or consider hiring a registered tax agent from Perth.
If you are not confident about the tax laws in Australia and face a complicated tax situation. It will always be practical to hire a tax agent. A professional person will offer you professional guidance and can also lodge it for you. Usually, they charge their clients a fee, but it can be deducted while lodging tax returns the next year. But the most significant benefit is that they will help you get a complete and accurate tax return.
But, if you want to lodge your tax return, it will be more convenient to do it online through the myTax of the Australian Taxation Office. However, you will be required to open a myGov account before proceeding. The myTax programming of the ATO includes a function named ‘pre-fill,’ which will help you to check whether you forget to include any applicable income or not.
According to the ATO website, electronic tax returns are generally processed within a 2-week time, while paper returns take a much more processing period, up to 10 weeks. Depending on the amount of income and other conditions, you may satisfy the eligibility for the Tax Help Program offered by the ATO. Under this program, accredited and trained volunteers help the clients to lodge their tax returns online.
What Will Happen After You Lodge Your Tax Return?
It is a typical curiosity found among the people to know what happens once they lodge their tax returns.
After lodging the tax return, the processing starts. We had already mentioned that the processing time is about 2 months for returns submitted online, while if you submit it offline, it will take about 10 months to process. Once the processing period ends, the authorities will send you a NoA (Notice of Assessment), which will tell you whether you will be required to pay money to the ATO or get a refund instead.
You should keep this Notice of Assessment and the information used to lodge the tax return safely because you may need to show these documents in the future. Sometimes, ATO may ask you about the tax return, or if you lodge a tax return online again, you must show this information. This information will also be required when you apply for any loan.
How Can You Resolve A Mistake In Your Tax Return?
Lodging a tax return is vital, and like any essential job. It is always important to have a detailed review of everything before you lodge the return. Whatever method you choose for lodging the return, you will be held responsible for all the mentioned information in the tax return. So, avoiding mistakes by any means is necessary.
However, there is a way with which you can fix a mistake. Suppose you find that you have mistakenly excluded an amount after lodging the tax return. In that case, you can lodge the tax return ‘amendment.’ For specific information on how to lodge this amendment, you can check the website of the ATO.
Filing a tax return involves the inclusion of so much information and steps. It can be time-consuming, too. That is why tax experts always advise people to hire a tax accountant for necessary help. Besides giving professional guidance, your tax agent can assist you with the amendment process.