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Top tips for lodging your online tax return without stress

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Zara, Staff Writer

Thursday, 3 June 2021

There aren’t many people who don’t feel stressed at the thought of lodging their annual tax return. It’s so important to get it right – one mistake and you could find yourself in hot water.

If lodging your online tax return fills you with dread, this is the service guide for you. We’re going to talk you through everything you need to know about lodging your tax return in 2021.

Who needs to lodge a tax return?

Most adults in Australia will need to lodge an annual tax return. This includes anyone who earns more than the tax-free threshold ($18,200), anyone who has had tax withheld from any payments, foreign residents and anyone who wants to claim tax deductions.

To find out whether you need to lodge a tax return this year, you can use the ATO’s online questionnaire.

How to lodge your tax return

There are three ways to lodge your tax return. You can choose to lodge an online tax return through myTax, lodge your tax return with a registered tax agent or lodge a paper tax return.

If you’re confident lodging your own tax return, completing it online is usually the fastest and easiest way. However, if you have any doubts about completing your own tax return, it’s best to leave it to a tax preparation specialist. After all, they’re the experts.

What is included in an online tax return?

When you lodge your tax return, you’ll be asked for several different pieces of information. It’s helpful if you can gather this information before the tax return deadline to save the last-minute rush of trying to find information.

The information you’ll need to complete your online tax return includes:

  • Details of your bank account

  • Income statement from any employers

  • Payment summaries from Centrelink (Services Australia)

  • Receipts for any expenses you’re claiming

  • Your spouse’s income details (if applicable)

  • Details of any private health insurance

When is the tax return deadline?

It’s important to be aware that the annual tax return deadline in Australia is 31 October. If 31 October falls on a weekend, the deadline is extended to the next business day after 31 October.

However, if you choose to use a registered tax agent to lodge your tax return, they will often have special privileges that allow them to lodge tax returns later than 31 October. You’ll need to have hired the tax agent before 31 October to take advantage of this.

Our top tips for lodging your tax return

  • Get organised – keep detailed records of your income and expenditure throughout the year to make your tax return a breeze.

  • Keep receipts for any expenses so that you don’t forget anything – no one wants to be paying too much tax.

  • Make sure you have the right documents to hand to avoid any last-minute panics.

  • Get started early – don’t leave it until the deadline.

Should you hire a Tax Accountant or lodge your tax return yourself?

If your finances are straightforward, you might choose to lodge your own tax return. However, if your finances are more complex, using a registered tax agent can give you the peace of mind that your taxes are being prepared properly. An accountant can also help you to identify deductions that you didn’t know about, potentially lowering the tax you need to pay.

If you’re ready to hire a Tax Accountant, you can search for local or online professionals on Bark. 

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