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With a tax deadline looming, one particular group of workers is delaying their annual return due to “tax paralysis”, according to new data.

The Australian Taxation Office is urging anyone wishing to lodge their own tax return to move quickly or risk a fine with the October 31 cut off point fast approaching.

Failing to do so comes with a $313 fine, increasing by $313 for every 28 days the return is overdue – up to a maximum of $1565.

The deadline only applies to those planning on submitting their own return, while those with a tax agent have until May 15 next year to file.

Up to two million people have yet to “self-lodge” their returns according to data provided by the ATO earlier this month.

One subset of the workforce, those who are self-employed, are holding off amid high costs and lower rebates, the Sole Trader Pulse by tax service Hnry has revealed.

The representative data, based on interviews with 500 sole traders, shows almost one in two self-employed workers are yet to submit their tax return despite the deadline being just days away.

Hnry Australia managing director Karan Anand said 50 per cent of those surveyed who have received their assessment were reporting a lower rebate compared with previous years.

“Our research shows sole traders spend an average of six hours on financial admin every week,” he said.

“Add to that the pressure of tax time while forking out a large sum to potentially receive a smaller rebate following the phasing out of the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset, and it’s no wonder a large proportion are putting off submitting their return.”

Mr Anand said self-employed workers are spending an average of $1,000 to prepare their tax return this year, contributing to tax time being seen as a “confusing and stressful period” for independent earners.

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By Rahul

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