Credit: Australian Individual tax return blank paper form
With the tax deadline upon us, it’s surprising to learn that nearly two out of five Australians still haven’t done their tax return yet. The good news, getting your affairs together and your return lodged is easier than you think!
The team at Etax.com.au have listed their top 10 reasons people are putting of their return, and how to overcome each one:
1. If I ignore my tax, it will go away.
That’s never going to happen! Every taxpayer in Australia is required to lodge a return. Ignoring it runs the risk of nasty ATO fines (can be over $1000 in some cases).
2. I can’t find my income records (PAYG).
Don’t worry! A good tax agent can usually get your PAYG info from the ATO if you don’t have it.
3. I can’t find my receipts.
If you’ve lost receipts, check out your bank statements, contact the shop you purchased it from and if you bought it online, just log into your account and grab a digital receipt from there.
4. I don’t know what tax deductions I can claim.
That’s why about 70 per cent of Aussies use a professional. Then you don’t need to know what you can and can’t claim – that’s your accountant’s job.
5. I don’t have time, it will take too long.
Online is the way of the future. Online accountants mean you can do your return in literally minutes while sitting in your PJs watching TV.
6. I can’t afford to do my tax return right now.
Tax agent fees are generally pretty cheap (less than $100) and often you can just have them deduct your fees from your refund so you’re not out any cash up front. And tyour fees are tax deductible next year.
7. I’m scared I’ll have an ATO debt.
You won’t know until you get an estimate, and even if you do, the longer you leave it the more the debt will grow – the ATO charges interest on any amounts owing.
8. I don’t know how to do my tax return.
You don’t need to do it. That’s why most people use a tax agent. They’re the experts and it’s their job to make your tax stress go away.
9. I had no income this year.
Even if you didn’t work, you need to tell the ATO in the form of a non-lodgement advice which lets them know you’re not lodging. Otherwise, you’ll be on the ATO’s non-lodged list of people they consider to be avoiding their tax obligations.
10. I earned less than the tax-free threshold
Even if you earned under the $18,200 threshold you might still need a return, and if you don’t need to do a return, just like point nine you still need to let the ATO know anyway. Just ask your accountant for help and they’ll let you know what you need to do!
Doing your tax return is usually a pretty quick event; most people can be done in the time it takes to drink a coffee. And if you end up with a couple of grand in your pocket for 15 minutes of work, that’s a pretty good hourly rate.