General FAQs

Here at Online Tax Australia, we understand that, for most people, lodging a tax return can be quite stressful.

That’s why, to help kick-start your seamlessly stress-free tax return, we’ve put together answers to all of our most common tax FAQs.


Who is Online Tax Australia?

A family owned business, Online Tax Australia is operated by three brothers (Brendan, Michael and Stephen).

Our team is highly qualified, and well versed in what is required when lodging a tax return using an online service. We each have more than 20 years of experience in taxation, accounting, and business planning and management.

We guarantee a qualified tax agent checks every single tax return submitted with us so that any questions or items requiring clarification are resolved before the return is formally lodged with the ATO.

Promising affordable, fast tax returns and the highest standards of customer service, it’s no surprise that more than 45,000 Australians have trusted us to handle their tax.

For more information, visit About Online Tax Australia.

Who can use the Online Tax Australia system?

Our innovative online tax return solution enables just about everyone to quickly and easily complete and lodge their tax return online via a trusted, secure, ATO-approved tax service.

For more information, visit Who Can Use Online Tax Australia?

How does your online tax return system work?

Our simple, streamlined online tax return service involve three simple steps:

  1. Answer a series of simple Yes or No questions
  2. Enter your information into the user-friendly worksheets
  3. Submit your return for review and lodgement

Your tax return can be paused and saved at anytime, and you can contact our Tax Help Hotline (manned by our experienced, professional tax agents) to resolve any queries you might have.

Once your return is lodged in our system, our tax agents will undertake a comprehensive review. If we have any questions, we’ll contact you direct. Rest assured, there is no additional cost involved for our review service and/or advice.

For more information, visit How Does Online Tax Australia Work?

What information do I need to complete my tax return?

There is no need for you to worry about compiling and providing us with masses of documents. One of the handy features of the Online Tax Australia solution is that after answering a set of simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ questions, the system will generate for you a list of the documents that you will need in order to complete your tax return online. In most cases there is no requirement for you to send any of these documents to Online Tax Australia or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

How much does lodging my tax return with Online Tax Australia cost?

As of 2018, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has implemented major changes to the review process that all tax returns will undergo. These changes mean that the taxpayer has a greater responsibility than ever before to ensure that their tax return is accurate.

OTA’s comprehensive services provide all you need to complete and lodge a tax return that is as accurate as possible.

Our team of experts log into the ATO portal on your behalf to confirm all available data. We correct your tax return where required before it’s lodged with the ATO, including a review of your tax deductions to ensure accuracy and compliance with taxation laws.

Above all, you can rest assured that your tax return has been reviewed by an experienced, qualified tax agent before it is lodged with the ATO.

This process ensures the accuracy of all tax returns lodged by OTA, greatly reducing your exposure to ATO adjustments, including possible penalties and interest charges.

Our FIXED, affordable, tax-deductible fees include:

  • Individual Tax Return: $89 (inc GST)
  • Tax Return including a Sole Business: $139 (inc GST)
  • Returns that include a rental or investment property schedule incur an additional $15 fee per rental or investment property.

For more information, visit Services & Pricing.

What payment options does Online Tax Australia offer?

Due to the level of uncertainty regarding the new ATO refund processes, our ‘Pay from Refund’ payment option is not currently available. We expect that this payment option will be available later in July.

Online Tax Australia accepts credit card payments via Visa, Mastercard or Bankcard and you can process a direct payment via BPay.

How do you protect me against credit card fraud?

Online Tax Australia uses state-of-the-art technology (known as 128 bit encryption) in order to protect your data, your privacy, and your credit card details. We also use ANZ bank’s online system to verify all credit card payments.

What do you do with my personal information?

Your personal information will reside in the Online Tax Australia secure database. Once you confirm your tax return is ready for lodgement, your information will be electronically sent to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) via a direct, secure link. In accordance with Privacy Laws, your information will not be disclosed to any other party without your prior consent. For more information regarding our Privacy Policy, please click here.

How long will it take to complete my tax return?

Once you have all the relevant information at hand, your tax return should you approximately 10-20 minutes to lodge. Keep in mind that more complex returns that include rental properties or sole business schedules can take a little longer. There is no need to lodge your return all in one sitting though; you can save your progress, log out, and come back to finish it later.

What help is there available to me?

Here at Online Tax Australia, we offer a range of different help options:

  • ‘i’ Icons are located throughout our online tax return system. Simply click on the icons for a range of advice and information about the specific item in question.
  • Our comprehensive range of Frequently Asked Questions cover general questions, tax return information and software operational questions.
  • Our Premium Service provides a one-on-one phone consultation with one of our experienced, qualified tax agents to discuss your return, answer questions and provide advice regarding possible deductions and rebates.
  • Help desk support – Feel free to contact the experienced, professionally qualified, friendly team at Online Tax Australia today:

Why should I use Online Tax Australia?

  1. Comfort that an experienced, professional tax agent checks every return before its lodged with the ATO.
  2. Access to professional, experienced, qualified, transparent accountants who will answer all your questions and provide jargon-free advice.
  3. Convenient, fast and simple to use software exclusive to OTA. Tax returns can be completed in 15 minutes from the comfort of your home or office.
  4. Affordable, fixed price fee (which is completely tax deductible).
  5. Tax refunds within 10 to 14 days from lodgement (subject to ATO processing).
  6. Safe, secure, ATO-approved website that is operated with absolute integrity.
  7. Free to try. No obligation. Should you complete a return and decide not to submit it for review and lodgement by us then no fee is payable.

How do I claim a Medicare levy exemption?

If you are eligible to claim a Medicare levy exemption, this needs to be indicated when completing your tax return. When loading your information you will see a page that asks the following: ‘Are you entitled to Medicare levy exemption? If so, click here.’

When you click on this, it will take you to the Medicare Levy Exemption page. Using this page, you can claim either your full or half exemption, depending upon your circumstances.

Please note: if you have private health insurance you are not eligible for the Medicare levy exemption. Private health insurance only excludes you from the Medicare levy surcharge which is an additional charge above the standard medicare levy.

Visit Medicare levy exemption for more information.

What can I claim for my motor vehicle when I use it for work?

Claims for motor vehicle expenses using the cents per km method are very simple whereas more detailed log book car claims can be a little more complex. Up until 2015, there were four ways to calculate work related car expenses on your tax return:

  • Kilometre based method
  • Log book percentage claim (12 week log book required)
  • 1/3 of actual operating expenses, including interest and depreciation
  • 12% of the cost of the vehicle.

However, the ATO has introduced new rules for the 2016 financial year. The ATO has eliminated the:

  • ‘1/3 of actual operating expenses, including interest and depreciation’ method, AND
  • ‘12% of the cost of the vehicle’ method

There are now only two methods available to calculate car expense claims on your tax return:

  • Kilometre based method
  • Log book percentage claim (12 week log book required)

If this all sounds like double-dutch to you, don’t despair. Our friendly team of experts can help determine which option will provide you with the largest possible claim amount. Feel free to contact us to ask for help at any time or visit Motor Vehicle tax deductions for further information.

Can I claim for items or expenses that I use for both work and personal reasons?

Yes. You sure can. You can claim for items that have both business and personal usage, so long as the item in question represents a deduction type that is normally allowable. Mobile phone bills are often an expense that is used for both business and personal reasons.

The way to claim the expense in these cases is to apportion the expense between your business or work usage, and your personal use. So, if you use your mobile phone work usage accounts for 80% of each bill, then you claim that 80% as an expense; but not the entire mobile phone amount.

For more information about tax deductions and work-related expenses, visit:

Do I need to send my group certificate, PAYG statement or other documents anywhere?

No. There is no need for you to send any documents or statements to either the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or to us. Simply file them away in a safe place, keeping in mind that you need to retain all files for a minimum of five years, just in case the ATO has a query.

It is only in rare instances that the ATO may require us to file copies of PAYG summaries. This usually only occurs when there is an abnormally large refund due. In this situation, we may request that you provide us with a copy of your PAYG Summary.

Do I need to provide the Australian Tax Office with a copy of my return?

No. There is no need for you to provide the Australian Tax Office with a hard copy of your tax return. Our electronic system will lodge your tax return for you. You can print and retain a copy of your return for your records if you like.

Will I have a cheque sent to me? Or can my refund be paid into my bank account?

The Australian Taxation Office no longer issues cheques. All income tax refunds are paid directly into your nominated bank account. You should receive payment within approximately 14 days from the date the return is lodged with the Taxation Office.

What happens if I owe the Australian Taxation Office money?

If your estimated tax assessment indicates that you owe the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) money, you will receive a tax payment advice from the ATO within approximately 14 working days, at your nominated address.

Contact Online Tax Australia for All Your Online Tax Return Needs

If you have any other tax refund questions, then contact the experienced, professionally qualified, friendly team at Online Tax Australia today:
• Call us on (03) 9852 9051
• Email us at support@onlinetaxaustralia.com.au