Are you preparing to do your tax return for the 2019-2020 financial year? Are you wondering how to go about lodging it? Online Tax Australia has all the answers you’ve been looking for.
For a lot of people, tax time is incredibly stressful; sorting through all of your invoices and receipts is time-consuming and tedious, and figuring out which expenses you’re eligible to claim on can be confusing and frustrating.
However, the process of lodging your tax return is made much simpler thanks to the introduction of the online lodgement system. Doing your taxes online has several benefits, including:
- You are able to complete your tax return from the comfort of your own home
- You can complete your tax return at a time that is convenient to you; this includes completing it in increments and coming back to finish it off later
- You don’t have to worry about forgetting an important document; all your invoices and receipts are at your immediate disposal
So, if you’re wondering how to lodge your 2020 tax return, the experts at Online Tax Australia can help.
Tips and Tricks on How to Do Your Taxes in 2020
Claim Everything You’re Eligible For
When completing your 2020 tax return, it’s easy to forget to claim on expenses that you paid for early in the financial year. That’s why having an organised filing system can come in handy; it allows you to keep track of all your expenses throughout the year instead of having to search through miscellaneous documents in order to figure out which expenses are relevant.
Remember, you are generally eligible to claim any expenses relating to work, including work-related travel, uniforms, tools and self-education. Additionally, if you work from home, there are various options and eligible expenses to consider including a the ATO standard or COVID-19 hourly claim rate, business use percentage of telephone and internet bills, home office equipment and even portion of rent should circumstances warrant. Just make sure that have evidence – such as receipts and logbooks – that proves how often you work from home.
Don’t Try to Trick the ATO
Some people try to bulk up their tax return by claiming expenses that they are not eligible for. However, the ATO have sophisticated software that easily detects incongruencies, meaning that by doing this you might become the target of a tax audit. There are few things scarier than a tax auditor coming to knock on your door, so the marginal amount you might be able to get back is certainly not worth it.
Additionally, tax laws and regulations can be incredibly confusing, especially since eligibility requirements for certain deductions are always changing. Even an honest mistake can be a red flag for the ATO, however, which is why seeking the help of a professional tax agent can help you to navigate through the confusion and provide peace of mind.
How to Lodge Your 2020 Tax Return Online
When it comes to lodging your 2020 tax return online, there are two main methods:
- Using a professional tax agent service – direct or online
- The ATO’s myTax online system
Professional Tax Agent – Online Tax Services
With the help of professional online tax services, such as Online Tax Australia, you can take the stress out of lodging your taxes while also maximising your refund. The additional benefits that they offer include:
- Tax agents can provide services to access and confirm all PAYG, interest, dividend, HECS/HELP and other information saving you the trouble of accessing and navigating your MyGov site
- Helping to maximise your refund by helping you to figure out which deductions you’re eligible for
- Tax Return Lodgement deadline extension up to May 2021 (versus 31 October) is available for clients of tax agents
- A tax agent will ensure that your lodgement is accurate and complete.
- If you have a complex tax return that includes dividend income, trust distribution or capital gains, a tax agent can help you to navigate these complexities
- Like the myTax system, you will generally receive your refund 10 to 14 days after lodgement
- Tax agents have in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of tax law and can help to answer any questions you may have
While using a tax agent is not free the benefits can more than offset cost. Additionally, the cost of a tax agent is tax deductible on next year’s tax return.
myTax is an online system provided by the ATO that enables anyone to do their taxes for free. Some of the benefits of using myTax include:
- A lot of information will be pre-filled thanks to almost all government agencies, banks and employers being linked with the system
- It is an incredibly secure system, meaning your personal information is safe
- You can lodge your return any time before 31 October 2020, and you can fill it out incrementally
- Your refund will generally be processed within 10 to 14 days
- Each step includes detailed instructions, meaning you don’t have to have a comprehensive understanding of the software before using it
- It can be linked to myDeductions, allowing any data to be automatically filled in
There are, however, some drawbacks to using myTax, including:
- If there are gaps in the pre-filled information, you are responsible for filling this in and failing to do so could make you a target of the ATO for incorrectly filling out your lodgement
- It does not help you to maximise your return, which can limit your refund
- The system is often unreliable during peak times and has been known to crash
- Making a mistake is difficult to fix post-lodgement without experience and guidance