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Don’t lodge your tax return too early, ATO warns

·3-min read
Don't lodge your tax return too early, ATO warns. Source: Getty
Don't lodge your tax return too early, ATO warns. Source: Getty

By now, you’re probably familiar with the news that 10 million Australians will receive some tax relief this year and for the next five years.

Since Prime Minister Scott Morrison and treasurer Josh Frydenberg first announced the tax cut plan in April’s federal budget, anticipation for the tax offset has reached fever pitch.

And Aussies are so interested in getting their cash money, it’s causing the Australian Taxation Office’s phone lines to ring off the hook.

“We have seen a large number of people getting excited about tax time, and our call centre is managing a large number of calls about myTax or linking our online services to myGov,” an ATO spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

Just Thursday alone, the ATO’s call centres received nearly 10,000 calls, several of which were related to changes to payment summaries that now see this data reported straight to the ATO (in the form of an ‘Income Statement’) rather than to the employee.

ATO’s advice for lodging your tax return

For those keen to know when they’ll get their tax cuts, the ATO has a word of advice about your tax return: don’t lodge too early.

“While there is no need to delay lodging because of the proposed law, we generally encourage taxpayers to wait a few weeks before lodging so that we can serve them better,” the spokesperson said.

This is so information coming through from third parties, such as banks and private health insurers, can be pre-filled into your tax return and therefore make lodging an easier process.

“We would suggest that if you can’t get through on over the phone, our website has information that can help and assist you to get your tax return right,” the spokesperson advised.

Do I need to do anything for the ATO to give me my tax cut?

The short answer is nope: the ATO has it covered.

“As the law to give effect to the increase in the low and middle income tax offset has received Royal Assent, we are updating our processing systems.

“We will automatically include any new offset amounts taxpayers are entitled to when we process their tax returns.

“Taxpayers don’t need to do anything different to receive the offset,” the spokesperson said.

What if I’ve already lodged?

The ATO has factored this in and they’re making adjustments to their system to ensure no one misses out.

“The ATO is implementing the necessary system changes so taxpayers that have already lodged their 2018-19 tax return will receive any increase to the low and middle income tax offset they are entitled to,” according to a statement.

“Any tax refund will be deposited in the taxpayers nominated bank account. You will not need to request an amendment.”

If you’ve already lodged, you can expect your refund as soon as next Friday 12 July, said the ATO.

The last day to lodge your tax return is 31 October 2019.

Want to know more about the tax cuts? Yahoo Finance has a run-down that explains how much you’ll get, when you’ll get it, and what’ll happen next.

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