The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reminding taxpayers that there is just one month left to lodge their own tax returns. Over 2.5 million people have already lodged their own returns via myTax, with another 5.2 million people lodging via an agent, with millions more expected to be lodged this month.
The upcoming deadline shouldn’t be cause for concern though, because our suite of online services makes it easier than ever before to get your return in on time.
If you plan to lodge your own tax return using the ATO’s online service myTax, you need to lodge by 31 October 2017. If something happens and you miss the deadline, you should lodge as soon as you can to minimise penalties.
Agents are able to lodge your return after 31 October, but only if you are on your agent’s books before then. This is especially important to remember if you’re using an agent for the first time or are using a different agent this year.
Most returns are processed in less than two weeks, and over 98.8% of people who have already lodged a tax return this year received their refunds within 12 days.
If you realise you have made a mistake and have already lodged, don’t stress. You can quickly and easily make an amendment online using myTax or by contacting your registered tax agent.
For more information on making an amendment visit ato.gov.au/fixamistake or to set up a payment plan, visit ato.gov.au/helpwithpaying
ATO officers have heard it all when it comes to excuses for lodging late. Here are some of the boldest examples they say that they have heard recently.
- “My paperwork flew out the car window when I was on my way to see the accountant.”
- “I have a condition that only allows me to work 30 minutes each week, so I couldn’t lodge.”
- “My accountant has gone to prison. He is working on it, but it’s taking longer than normal because he can’t access a computer.”
- “My ex-wife burnt everything belonging to me, including all of my tax records.”
- A taxpayer was asked why he hadn’t lodged returns for years between 2008 to 2015, and he said it was because he suffered a back injury in 2016.
- A taxpayer said he hadn’t lodged his return on time because his father had died recently. The ATO officer was sympathetic until case notes revealed that he had used the same excuse more than a year before.
If you are having difficulties meeting your tax obligations, you don’t need an excuse – you just need to contact us as soon as possible so we can help.
If you are having difficulties paying a tax debt, you can call us to set up a payment plan. Depending on your circumstances, you may even be able to set one up online.
- For more information visit: to.gov.au/helpwithpaying
- For information about the due date, visit ato.gov.au/lodgeonline
- To make sure your tax agent is registered, visit gov.au