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ATO’s fresh warning to Aussies: ‘You may owe money’

The ATO has warned that more Aussies will likely owe money to the tax office this year.

A composite image of the ATO logo in exterior of the Australian Taxation Office and Australian money.
The ATO has warned Aussies they may actually owe money this tax time. (Source: AAP / Getty)

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned Aussies not to rely on getting back a sizable tax return.

ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh said most Aussies would see a lower return, while some might actually owe money.

“This tax time, your tax refund may be less than you expect or you may receive a tax bill. There are a number of reasons for this, for example the low to middle income tax offset (LMITO) is no longer available,” Loh said.

Why your tax return might be different this year

The ATO said Aussies’ tax return outcomes may change for any of the following reasons:

  • A tax offset you received previously is no longer available or you are no longer eligible for an offset – for example, the LMITO ended on June 30 2022

  • Your credit or refund has been offset against another debt – including debts on hold with the ATO or debts you have with other government agencies

  • Your income or deductions for the income year are different from previous income years

  • The ATO finds a difference between the details in your tax return and the information it receives through pre-fill data or our data-matching program

  • You have not advised your payer of your study or training-support loan and your income is above the minimum repayment threshold and you have a compulsory repayment amount

The ATO said some debts would not be applied to your tax return until after it had been lodged. This means your tax estimate in myTax or from your tax agent may not match your final tax outcome.

“If you believe you will get a tax bill, it’s still important to lodge your tax return on time, even if you can’t pay immediately,” the ATO said.

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