Learn to Save Time: Electronic Filing versus Paper Filing

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October 31st is the talk of the town for the taxpayers every year. It is the final deadline for the taxpayers to prepare their returns and lodge them to the ATO. Some of them are still using the paper filing options so they must go to the nearest ATO branch in their municipality and bring with them their receipts, statements, PAYG summaries, and other documents. It’s ridiculous and hassles, right?

Perhaps, some of them know how to download the paper form, print it, fill it out, and address it to the ATO. But still, lodging your paper form tax returns is still stressful on your part as a compliant taxpayer. What more if you don’t hire a tax agent, well, it will be a whirlwind situation.

Did you know that an electronic filing can help you save your time? How to do it? Here are the useful alternatives that you can do:

1. Lodge Online through MyTax

Make sure that you have a registered tax file number (TFN) in the ATO. If none, you can secure these following documents before you create a myGov account: citizenship certificate, passport, and birth certificate.

Thereafter, if you don’t have a myGov account yet, you can create a myGov account in the ATO website. Then, fill out the details about yourself so that you can access the myTax page since it was interlinked with the myGov website.

Lodge your tax return by yourself through the MyTax online solution. This is just an easy and quick process because you will be asked with a series of questions and you must answer these questions honestly. Make sure that you have the documents ready with you such as

  • PAYG Payment Summary for Salaries and Wages
  • PAYG Payment Summary for Personal Services Income
  • PAYG Payment Summary for Superannuation
  • Bank Statements
  • Dividend Statements
  • Portfolio Valuation Reports
  • Capital Gains and Losses Reports
  • Income and Expenses Summary for the Business
  • Income and Expenses Summary for the Rents
  • Logbook for your Car
  • Car Expenses
  • Travel Receipts or e-tolls
  • Uniform Expenses
  • Other-Work Related Expenses (Licenses, Accreditation fees for Professionals, etc…)
  • Donation Receipts
  • Self-Education Expenses
  • Income Protection Insurance
  • Private Health Insurance Statement

These documents serve as your guide in preparing your tax return. Choose any of these documents mentioned above that applies to you.

When linking your myGov account to your myTax account, you can call this hotline number 13 28 61 then press 5 to obtain your linking code. Usually, this unique linking code is only made available within 24 hours thereafter, it expires.

2. Visit the Tax Help Program Community

Some taxpayers are having difficulty in lodging their returns through the myTax page. It’s good to know that the ATO launched this Tax Help Program to help other taxpayers with their questions for their tax returns. There are various volunteer community participants who will help you do your tax return. Make sure to bring the documents with you so that you will never miss any income or expenses in your tax return.

However, this only applies to tax returns with salaries, gross interests, dividends, business and rental income and expenses, and other deductible expenses. Because any tax returns with complex income and deductible expenses can only be addressed by the ATO or a tax agent.

If you want to ask help from the community of volunteers, you may book an appointment by calling the ATO hotline 13 28 61. Make sure to schedule your booking months before the deadline so that you will not miss the deadline and you will not incur any penalties.

3. Hire a Tax Agent

If you are not sure on how to do your tax return by yourself, hire a tax agent. If you are from the Brisbane area, you can get in touch with their accountant gold coast to help you with your tax return.

What’s the advantage of hiring a tax agent? Aside from their expertise in tax, they have the privilege to process your tax returns beyond the 31st October deadline. They have a grace period until 15th of May of the following year to process and lodge the tax returns. However, as a taxpayer, you should provide the necessary and relevant documents that they need so they can lodge your tax returns ahead of time. In this way, lodging your tax return on time will prevent you from paying penalties and other surcharges.

Is electronic lodgment worth a try? Yes, of course. The ATO encourages every taxpayer to electronically file their tax returns so that they can able to assess your taxes as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to file your tax returns because it does not mean you have to settle a tax payable to the ATO. In most cases, you can receive a refund but it’s still depending on your income and deductible expenses.

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