How easy is it to do my own tax return?
If you are a salary earner in Australia and your finances aren't extremely complicated, there is a very easy and quick way to lodge your own tax return through MyTax.
MyTax provides you with a fast and secure way to submit your tax return directly to the Australian Tax Office (or ATO).
The good news is you can do it all online and you don't need to download anything.
The great news is it doesn't cost you a cent to do, and if you are entitled to a refund you will get the whole amount back -so no tax agent fee!
How do I access MyTax to do my 2018 tax return?
To use MyTax, you'll need a MyGov account and have it linked it to the ATO.
Setting up your MyGov account is very easy and you won't need any paperwork to complete it.
When you link to the ATO however, you will need to know your tax file number.
You'll also need to confirm some other information from documents such as a previous payment summary, a notice of assessment or super account statement.
if you do need to link to the ATO it's worth watching this video as it will explain the linking process clearly and the 6 different documents you can choose from to use as identification.
Can I start to lodge my tax return now?
Yes! Once you are linked to the ATO through your MyGov account, you are ready to lodge!
What will I need to lodge my tax return?
One great benefit of using MyTax to lodge your return is that a lot of the information is already pre-filled for you.
This is because the ATO receives information about you directly from employers, banks, government agencies like centrelink and health providers.
This information is automatically input for you, so a lot of your work is done.
It's still important to check what has been input however, just in case you don't agree.
Some information you'll need to input is any expenses or deductions you want to claim, so make sure you have this information.
If you are unsure about anything, the good news is there is online support readily available, plus a number of tools to help you work out the acceptable amounts in the eyes of the ATO.
You're welcome to read our blog "5 tax tips to help in 2018" which gives some handy tips to know before you lodge!
How long will it take to complete my tax return?
This will depend entirely on how much information you need to complete.
As a guide it should take you approximately 10 - 15 minutes if most of your information is pre-filled (and you've checked it is correct) and you don't have a lot of complicated expenses or deductions to submit.
How long will it take to get my refund if I am getting one?
This ultimately will depend on how long the ATO takes to finalise your return.
If it is a simple return, best case scenario is that it can be deposited into your account within one week of you lodging it online.
A real example we can confirm from this year involves the person submitting their return online on the 24th July (Tuesday).
They received an email straight away to confirm it had been lodged and was being processed.
On the 26th July (Thursday) they received a text to confirm their return had now been finalised and would be deposited within 3 working days.
On the 30th July (Monday) their refund was in their account.
How do I pay a tax debt?
The ATO suggests the quickest way to pay is either by BPAY or a credit/debit card.
If this is not an option, contact the ATO to see if you can be put on an interest-free payment plan.
If you are not eligible and don't have enough in your bank account to pay, putting the debt straight on your credit card is not something we recommend.
Consider a personal loan instead of using your credit card.
Why? Because there are dangers associated with credit cards. Please read our blog "Why Choose a personal loan instead of a credit card" for more information.
We hope this blog has helped you decide if the MyTax online tax return option is worth you considering.
If you'd like to use this option please be aware you must lodge your return before the 31st October 2018.