26 September 2023

Tax Office now ready to accept returns

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The majority of South Australian taxpayers can now lodge their tax return with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) after more than 80 million pieces of information were made available for pre-fill.

Assistant Taxation Commissioner, Tim Loh said that much of the information the Office collected from employers, banks, private health insurers, share registries and other institutions was now ready to go into people’s tax returns.

“If you also have all the information you need to manually include, then you have the green light to lodge,” Mr Loh said.

“While having this data ready to go cuts down time, taxpayers still need to check that their details are accurate and ensure any other information that hasn’t been pre-filled, is manually added.”

He gave as examples income from rentals, side hustles and the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment from Services Australia, which would need to be added manually.

Mr Loh said employers would provide an income statement or payment summary that showed the amounts received and the tax withheld.

He said it was also important to ensure income statements were marked as ‘Tax ready’ by employers before people lodged their returns.

“If the information on an income statement or payment summary is incorrect, the employee should contact their employer as the employer should be able to correct any errors,” the Assistant Commissioner said.

“For those who use a registered tax agent, your agent will have access to your information, but even if you use a tax agent, remember that you are still on the hook to ensure that the information is correct.”

Mr Loh said four out of five people received a tax refund, with most refunds issued in less than two weeks.

“This process can’t be sped up, even if you or your agent calls us,” he said.

“After lodging your tax return, you can keep an eye on how it is progressing through ATO online services, the ATO app or by phone.”

He said people who lodged their tax returns themselves would receive an SMS when the ATO was at the final stage of processing their refund.

“This will include an estimate for when they will receive any refund owed,” Mr Loh said.

“It’s important to note that the amount of any refund will depend on each individual’s circumstances and how much tax they have paid throughout the year.”

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