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Don’t lodge your tax return yet: ATO urges taxpayers to wait

Tax form and money and July 2022 calendar
It's best to wait to lodge your tax return until later in July. (Source: Getty)

As the soaring cost-of-living continues to bite, taxpayers are understandably keen to lodge their tax returns as soon as possible to get their hands on their tax refunds.

However, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has urged Australian taxpayers to hold off until later in the month or risk delaying their refund payments.

That’s because ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh said people were more likely to make simple mistakes and leave out critical information by lodging early.

”If you forget to include everything, you may end up answering questions from the tax office,” Loh said.

He said early lodgers were “rolling the dice” by rushing their returns.

Last year, Loh said the 140,000 taxpayers who lodged their 2020-21 tax return straight away were far more likely to delay their refund payments.

He said early lodgers were twice as likely to have their returns adjusted by the ATO.

By waiting until later in the month, he said you had a better chance of filing an accurate return.

That’s because before you can send off your tax return, all your income information needs to be filled out and accurate.

According to the tax office, from late-July onwards, most information from employers, banks, government agencies and health funds will be automatically uploaded into tax returns.

So, to avoid mistakes and subsequent delays, the tax office advised waiting until late-July when this information has been pre-filled.

You can check to see if this information has been pre-filled by visiting the ATO app or logging in ATO online services via myGov.

Waiting until later in the month also makes the process much easier. “Once the information we collect is available, all you need to do is check it and add anything that’s missing,” Loh said.

“This will give you time to find receipts from the last twelve months, which you can upload to the myDeductions tool in the ATO app, then upload straight to your tax return.”

Last year, Aussies received an average of $2,900 back in their tax returns.

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