26 September 2023

Tax Office warns early returners

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ACT taxpayers who want to lodge their tax returns as soon as possible are being warned that acting too quickly could cause their tax refund to be delayed.

Assistant Commissioner at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Tim Loh said the Office saw more mistakes in early July as people rushed to get their tax returns done early.

Mr Loh said while taxpayers may lodge their returns early in July: “You are punting with your tax return by risking delays to any refund you are owed.”

“If you forget to include everything, you may end up answering questions from the tax office,” Mr Loh said.

“We pre-fill some of the information in your tax return to help you to get it right the first time.”

He said the ATO pre-filled information such as wages, health insurance and interest from banks.

He said this process was usually finalised by late July and that waiting a few extra weeks could make lodging tax returns online quicker and easier.

Mr Loh said people who lodged their tax returns in July were twice as likely to have their returns adjusted by the ATO.

“Last July, over 140,000 taxpayers had their 2020–21 tax return amended before the ATO issued their tax assessments,” he said.

“Once the information we collect is available, all you need to do is check it and add anything that’s missing.

“This will give you time to find receipts from the last 12 months, which you can upload to the myDeductions tool in the ATO app, then upload straight to your tax return,” he said.

Mr Loh said people could check if pre-filled information was available and confirm if income statements were ‘tax ready’ on the ATO app or ATO online services through myGov.

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