How to Lodge Your Individual Tax Return (2019 Update)
Not sure how to get your taxes sorted? Read this article for everything you need to know about filing your individual tax return.
A tax return is an amount of money refunded by the Government each financial year for those who have paid too much tax or can claim deductions to their taxable income. In this article, we’ll detail how you can lodge your individual tax return.
Ways to lodge your return
More than 3 million Australians now lodge their tax returns online. Not only does this method let you lodge your return from the comfort of your own home, but this often means you’ll receive your tax refund faster. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) operates an online system called myTax, which allows you to lodge online. MyTax integrates with employer data, meaning that you won’t have to put much information in.
To lodge your return this way, you will have to register a myGov account. This will require you to answer a handful of questions regarding your income, investments and deductions. You can access this through any device connected to the internet and will provide you with a more personalised, time-efficient tax return by pre-filling in your information.
You can still lodge your tax return by filling in a paper form and sending it to the ATO by post. Lodging your return requires two documents:
Follow the instructions to complete your tax return. If you have business, capital gains, foreign or rental income, you may need to also lodge a Tax return for individuals (supplementary section).
Once you have completed all the required fields, you will need to post your form to the tax office.
Do I need a tax agent?
The ATO provides valuable information on what you can and can’t claim as part of your tax return. This means that more often than not, you won’t need to enlist the expertise of a tax agent. If your financial affairs are more complex, then a registered tax agent may be able to advise you on what you can do to maximise your return. A registered tax agent will also be able to prepare and lodge your tax return for you. Further, most registered tax agents are able to lodge returns for clients later than the usual 31 October deadline. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that tax agents will also charge a fee for their services.
Although you can amend your tax return, it’s important that the information you provide to the ATO is accurate and truthful. The ATO are tasked with following up tax returns which contain discrepancies, and hefty fines can apply. Whichever way you choose to lodge your taxes – accuracy is a must. If you have further questions about lodging your tax return, it is worth consulting a tax lawyer.
William is a Paralegal, working in our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. With a passion for commercial and IP law, his research focuses on small businesses, how small businesses can navigate convoluted legal procedures and the protection of intellectual property.