Aussies are being told to get a move on or risk a fine, with a tax deadline looming.

Anyone wishing to lodge their own tax return with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) must do so by October 31 or they could be slapped with a fine that could rise to more than $1500.

The deadline only applies to anyone planning on submitting their own return.

Anyone who registers with a tax agent by the October 31 deadline will enjoy the benefit of an extended deadline until May 15, 2024.

You only need to lodge a tax return if you earn above the tax-free threshold of $18,200 a year.

Up to two million people have yet to “self-lodge” their returns this year, according to data provided to NCA NewsWire by the ATO earlier in October.

Anyone who misses the deadline will be immediately liable for a late lodgement fine of $313 that can increase to an eye-watering $1565 depending on how long the return remains outstanding.

Aussies with outstanding returns were being told to get them sorted sooner rather than later to avoid copping a fine.

The process is quick and simple, according to the ATO.

“DIY projects can get pretty complicated, but unlike flatpack furniture, doing your own tax return can be simple thanks to the data we pre-fill for you and the in-built help,” ATO assistant commissioner Rob Thomson said.

Aussies are also being warned to be especially vigilant against scammers.

“This tax time, we’re receiving an increased number of reports about several ATO impersonation SMS and email scams,” the ATO confirmed.

A common trick is for fraudsters to send an SMS or email pretending to be from the ATO encouraging people to follow a fake link and input personal information or banking details.

While the ATO may contact you by phone or email, they won’t send you an SMS or email with a link to login to any online services.

You will also never be asked to provide personal details by text or email, the ATO confirmed.

How do you lodge your tax return?

The quickest and easiest way to do this is online with the ATO via MyTax.

This website will have a lot of your details already filled out based on information from banks, government agencies and other third parties.

All you’ll have to do is confirm the information is correct, add any additional income and claim any deductible items such as working-from-home expenses and things you’ve bought for work.

Most online tax returns are processed in two weeks.

You can still lodge a tax return by post, although with the deadline looming this may be a risky choice.

Paper tax returns typically can take up to 50 days to process, meaning they are also a much slower way to (hopefully) get some money back.

The other option is to register with a registered tax agent and let someone else take care of it for you.

When is the deadline to do my own tax return?

The deadline for anyone intending to lodge their own return with the Australian Taxation Office is October 31.

Anyone who misses the cut-off could be slapped with a late lodgement penalty of $313.

This can increase by a further $313 every 28 days the return remains outstanding, up to a maximum of a whopping $1565.


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By Rahul

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