Count­down is on to the end of tax time

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Regional Extra -

WITH just weeks to go be­fore the dead­line passes, the Aus­tralian Tax­a­tion Of­fice is en­cour­ag­ing tax­pay­ers to get their 2016 tax re­turns in now.

As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Gra­ham Whyte said that peo­ple lodg­ing their own

tax re­turns need to have them in by Oc­to­ber 31.

“This tax time over 7.8 mil­lion peo­ple have lodged so far and we’ve al­ready is­sued 5.9 mil­lion re­funds.

“But there are still mil­lions of tax­pay­ers yet to lodge.

“MyTax, the ATO’s on­line lodg­ment ser­vice, is a great way to com­plete your tax re­turn ef­fi­ciently.

“With pre-filled in­for­ma­tion, and fully in­te­grated tools and cal­cu­la­tors, it is safe and se­cure, and can be ac­cessed on any smart­phone, tablet or com­puter.

“You just need a my­Gov ac­count linked to the ATO.

“This is the first year myTax has been avail­able for ev­ery­one, and it smashed 2015’s user record, clock­ing in at 2 mil­lion users only two months into tax time.”

Mr Whyte said peo­ple can also choose to use a reg­is­tered tax agent.

“Most reg­is­tered tax agents can lodge re­turns for their clients later than the Oc­to­ber 31 dead­line. But if you are us­ing one for the first time or us­ing a dif­fer­ent tax agent to last year, you need to con­tact them by Oc­to­ber 31, 2016.”

“If you are due a re­fund, you will gen­er­ally re­ceive it within two weeks.

“The av­er­age pro­cess­ing time for on­line lodg­ments at the mo­ment is seven days.”

Mr Whyte said that once peo­ple have lodged they can ac­cess a range of sup­port through on­line ser­vices.

“More than five mil­lion peo­ple have al­ready linked their my­Gov ac­count to the ATO’s on­line ser­vices, with over 400,000 new peo­ple link­ing in this year alone.

“You can eas­ily keep track of the progress of your tax re­turn us­ing our on­line ser­vices.

“The tool has al­ready been used 3.3 mil­lion times this tax time,” Mr Whyte said.

“And if you re­alise you have made a mis­take or for­got­ten to in­clude

some­thing on your tax re­turn you can lodge an amend­ment.

“If you’ve got a debt you can also make a pay­ment or cre­ate a pay­ment plan.”

Mr Whyte said that if you know you are go­ing to have a tax bill you shouldn’t put off lodg­ing.

“By lodg­ing you’ll know ex­actly how much you owe.

“You also have the same amount of time to pay re­gard­less of when you lodge. If you have a debt, you’ll gen­er­ally need to pay by Novem­ber 21.

“Most peo­ple pay their debt on time, but we un­der­stand that some­times peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence is­sues that pre­vent them from meet­ing their tax pay­ment obli­ga­tions.

“If this hap­pens, con­tact us as early as pos­si­ble and make sure you still lodge by the dead­line.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on help with pay­ing a debt go to www.ato.gov.au/in­di­vid­u­als/pay­ments-to-ato/help-with­pay­ing/.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the ATO’s on­line ser­vices go to www.ato.gov.au/on­li­ne­ser­vices.

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