25 September 2023

No return, no refund warns Tax Office

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The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned taxpayers that if they don’t lodge their tax returns, they could miss out on valuable refunds.

Assistant Taxation Commissioner Kath Anderson said that last year the ATO identified around 200,000 taxpayers who failed to lodge tax returns even though they were likely to have received a refund.

“Unfortunately, the ATO can’t return your money until you lodge a tax return,” Ms Anderson said.

“Collectively, these clients have millions of dollars of unclaimed refunds.”

She said there were a few reasons people might not lodge a return even if they were due a refund — some because they did not realise they needed to as they were on a low income or had not worked recently.

“Others might be worried about lodging because they haven’t lodged for several years, which often causes them stress and anxiety,” Ms Anderson said.

“The key thing to remember is that the ATO is here to help; we want all taxpayers to get it right, and we will assist them to do so.”

She said that so far this year, more than 2.7 million taxpayers had lodged their own returns via myTax, and almost 4.3 million taxpayers lodging via an agent.

“If you haven’t lodged yet, you have until 31 October to either lodge your own return, or ensure you are on your agent’s books,” Ms Anderson said.

She said some taxpayers might delay lodging their tax return when they expected they had a debt “but for self-preparers the payment is due on 21 November whether or not a return is lodged”.

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