There are only a few days left before Australians can begin filing their tax returns and claiming tax refunds.
The average tax refund is around $2,600, and it normally takes around two weeks from lodgment to receive a return.
However, there are some dos and don’ts to ensure you get yours back as quickly as possible, when lodging through the myGov tax portal.
Lodging your 2021 tax return with myGov and myTax
If you decide to lodge your tax return without the help of a tax agent or accountant, the quickest way to put your tax return together is through the myTax portal.
If you don’t have a myTax account, you’ll need to set up a myGov account and link it to the ATO.
Linking your myGov to the ATO is a largely automatic process. You just need to head to the Services tab on the myGov home page and then choose to link the ATO.
Once you’ve created your account and logged into myGov, you then need to use the myTax service to lodge your return.
Also read: How to figure out your tax bracket
Also read: Surprising date you’ll get $1,080 tax breaks
While you can begin lodging from the beginning of the month, it’s a good idea to wait until the end of July to begin filing.
That’s because your employer and other entities like your health insurance have until the end of the month to update the ATO with your tax information. If you lodge before this, it could slow down the process as there may be inconsistencies.
To check, your income statement on myTax should read “tax ready”.
Check your information and add your expenses
Once you’re ready to lodge, it’s a matter of reviewing information that the ATO has prefilled and adding in additional information.This includes your income statements from your employer, health insurance and Medicare.
Then it’s time to add in your working expenses.
Adding these in should be a straightforward process, provided you have your receipts and have been keeping good records over the course of the year.
If you haven’t, it’s a good idea to use the ATO’s myDeductions tool next year. It allows you to track your work and general expenses over the course of the year, so that when it comes time to file, the process is straightforward.
However, if you’ve got more complicated deductions - like a portion of your work-from-home bills, or fuel for a car you sometimes use for work travel - it’s worth setting some more time aside.
The same goes for capital gains or losses on assets like shares or a property. You’ll need to take the time to ensure you’re filing this accurately.
Then, once you’re confident with the information you’ve provided, you simply need to hit ‘lodge’.
Once you’ve lodged, you will receive a confirmation by email.
However, if you later realise you’re missing information or need to correct an error, you can still log back in to correct it. This just means it may take a little longer to receive your return.