Australia Markets close in 24 mins

ATO’s warning to taxpayers

Tax return and people walking Sydney
The ATO is warning taxpayers to not leave their returns to the last minute. (Source: Getty)

There’s less than a month to go until the October 31 tax deadline, and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned taxpayers to get on top of their returns before it’s too late.

More than 8.3 million taxpayers had already lodged their 2021/22 tax return, ATO figures to the end of September found.

Last year, the ATO saw more than 9.6 million lodge their returns by October 31.

ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh said there were a few different options for people to consider.

“People with simple tax affairs can lodge through our free myTax service in under 30 minutes,” Loh said.

“Most of the information you need will already be there. Just check it's correct, add any additional income, and claim deductions you're eligible for.”

If you need more time to prepare your tax return, you can lodge it with a registered tax agent instead.

“If you’re using a registered tax agent for the first time, or using a different registered tax agent to last year, you need to engage with the registered tax agent by 31 October,” Loh said.

Aussies can also get free tax help through the ATO’s Tax Help program. It’s run by trained volunteers and is open to taxpayers earning $60,000 or less per year with simple tax affairs.

There’s also the free National Tax Clinic program for individuals, small businesses, not-for-profits and charities who may not be able to afford professional advice. It’s run by Australian universities and supported by the ATO.

Don’t risk a $1,100 fine

If you don’t lodge your tax return or register with a tax agent by October 31, you risk a hefty fine.

Aussies face fines between $222 and $1,100 for failing to lodge.

This penalty is normally applied automatically, but is not normally applied to returns that have a nil result or generate a refund.

And if you need an extra incentive to lodge your return, don’t forget this is the last financial year you can get $1,500 tax relief under the low- and middle-income tax offset (LMITO).

Follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to the free Fully Briefed daily newsletter.