The Australian Tax Office (ATO) recently published some advice to help beginners navigate tax time. It can be a daunting process for first-time taxpayers, but the process can be quick and easy by being prepared.
Check whether you need to lodge a tax return
Generally, If you have earned over $18,200 during the past financial year, you will need to lodge a tax return by 31 October 2021.
If you have a simple tax return, you can lodge it within half an hour with MyTax and you will receive any applicable refunds within a few weeks. If you have a complicated setup, you can always seek support from a registered tax agent.
If you’re still unsure, the ATO has designed a tool for you to check whether you need to lodge a tax return. Learn more here.
Know your Tax File Number (TFN)
When lodging your tax return, you will need to have your Tax File Number (TFN) handy. Your TFN is a unique personal identifier for tax and superannuation purposes and it will stay the same for life.
You’ll be able to find your tax file number on your superannuation statements, otherwise, you can log into your MyGov account to access all of your relevant information.
Create a MyGov account
If you choose to lodge your tax return, you will need to have a MyGov account. Once you have created an account with your email address, you’ll need to link your account with ATO.
Your identity will need to be verified in this process so having your TFN, Driver’s Licence or Medicare Card, ready to go will ensure the process is quick and easy.
Once you have set up your MyGov account, you’ll be able to access information such as your superannuation balance and loans statements including any HECS debt.
Lodge your tax return
After setting up your MyGov account, you’re ready to lodge your tax return. Take your time if you’re going through this process for the first time.
A common mistake is leaving out important information, such as income from dividends or your private health insurance details. By late July, information from employers, banks, health funds, government agencies and more, will automatically be added to your tax return. If you plan to complete your tax return before late July, make sure you consider this.
Another common mistake is forgetting to keep tax receipts for anything that you wish to claim. This includes costs directly related to your income e.g. workwear and equipment as well as charitable donation receipts.
There are plenty of resources available to beginners who are preparing for tax time. Click here to access tips and tricks from the ATO. If you need further support this tax time, feel free to reach out to our friendly team at APS Tax & Accounting.