Everything is going online these days, including lodging your tax return in 2017. If you want to know the easiest way to lodge your 2017 tax return, you need to know how to lodge your tax return online.
There are so many benefits to an online tax return lodgement:
- You can lodge your 2017 tax return from the comfort of your own home
- You can complete it when it’s most convenient to you
- You can complete your return gradually, instead of having to sit down and do it all in one go
- You’ll have everything you need at your fingertips – no having to book another costly appointment because you forgot your logbook or receipts.
How Can I Lodge My 2017 Tax Return Online?
When it comes to lodging your 2017 tax return online, you essentially have two options:
- The ATO myTAX system
- An online lodgement system provided by a tax agent
myTAX is provided by the ATO. It is free and carries several benefits:
- Information from government agencies, banks and employers are linked with the myTAX system, meaning certain income information you need will be pre-filled.
- The system is backed up by a range of controls and security measures to protect your information.
- You can lodge whenever you like, as long as you do it by 31 October.
- Refunds are processed in 10 to 14 days from lodgement.
- You can also upload data to myDeductions, which means deductions will automatically be added to your return.
- myTAX can be used by any individual taxpayer, including sole traders.
- The software is easy to use, you’ll be guided through each step, so there’s no need to read any guides in preparation.
BUT like anything that is free, there are some things you should be aware of:
- Government services such as myTax are not focused on helping you maximise your eligible deductions which can limit your refund potential.
- There are dangers to pre-filling your information. If there are any problems with the pre-filled information (such as missing PAYGs), the error remains your responsibility.
- Without experienced advice you may miss out on deductions you’re entitled to claim OR you may accidentally claim deductions that you aren’t entitled to claim.
- You may also miss crucial details that can prolong the process and result in you in having to prepare and lodged an amended return.
- The myTAX system, it is prone to freezes and crash during peak lodgement periods.
- If there are any issues with the return you’re on your own, and dealing with the ATO can be a struggle if you don’t have the right information on hand.
Professional Online Tax Services
Professional online tax services (like OTA) provide the same service as the myTAX system, with the added benefit of having access to professional tax agent checking , support and advice before the return is finalised and lodged with the ATO.
The benefits of this service include:
- Enjoying all the convenience of lodging your return online while avoiding the chances of being penalised for submitting an incorrect or incomplete return.
- Having a tax agent or accountant on hand to help ensure you claim your full entitlement of deductions.
- The services provide pre-filling options while also have a tax agent available to question missing items (such as missing dividends or PAYGs from a second job). This is especially relevant when the same tax agent assists you year after year.
- Professional online tax services and advice help cater to more complex 2017 tax returns which may include dividend income, trust distributions and capital gains.
- Extended tax lodgement deadline which can be as late as May the following year for some taxpayers. So you don’t need to worry about the October 31 deadline.
- The software makes the entire process very easy and quick. It consists of a series of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions and user-friendly worksheets.
- Tax refunds are also processed in 10 to 14 days from lodgement—just like using the myTax system.
- If there are any issues with your 2017 tax return, you’ll have a professional on hand that can help you in your correspondence.
- Tax agents are available to provide support and advice between tax returns where required
While the only negative of using a professional online service is the fee statistics show the refund is generally improved by more than fee charged. In addition the fee is fully tax deduction on your next year’s tax return.