It’s time to do your 2021 tax return. If you’re contemplating how to lodge your 2021 tax return online, Online Tax Australia can help. We have put together your comprehensive guide for tax time, including everything you need to know about lodging your tax return.
Tax time can be stressful, time consuming, and frustrating. Often people are left trying to sort through old receipts and invoices to work out what they can claim. Add to that the confusion over what is an eligible deduction, and doing your taxes is a real headache!
But the process can run smoothly if you use the online lodgement system for your 2021 tax return. Lodging your tax return online is easy, straightforward and convenient. You can do it at a time that suits you and from the comfort of home, and all the necessary documentation is at your disposal for when you need it. You can even begin the process and then pick it up again later if needed – with OTA no fee is required or payable until you choose to submit the return.
Tips and Tricks For Doing Your Taxes in 2021
As you prepare to complete your tax return for the 2020-2021 financial year, take a look at our tips for getting the most out of tax time.
Claim Everything You’re Eligible For
There is plenty that you can claim as a work expense at tax time, but over the course of the year you may have forgotten about some of your spending. Make sure you’re putting in a claim for anything that is related to earning your income, including any physical items you required during the year (like uniforms , protective clothing and stationery), as well as more intangible items, like subscriptions, working from home expenses or educational courses.
It’s a good idea to keep track of everything throughout the year instead of trying to pull all your documentation together at tax time. An accurate record keeping system will help you to make sure you claim everything you’re eligible for.
Here’s some common things people forget to claim at tax time:
- Phone and internet bills – if you’ve used your home internet for work purposes, you can claim a business use portion or percentage eg 15% -20% of the monthly amount
- Work clothes and laundry – clothing that is required for you to do your job, like uniforms or protective clothing, is tax deductible
- Membership fees – if you’re a part of a professional organisation or a union, you can claim the fees
- Charitable donations – donations over $2 to registered charities are tax deductible
- Books and media – if you’re buying educational resources to boost your income in your current industry, you can claim these.
Don’t Try To Make False Claims
False claims cost the ATO millions of dollars, and they work hard to try to catch people doing the wrong thing. These days the ATO can detect false claims using sophisticated technology, so you’re likely to get in trouble if you try to claim expenses that you’re not eligible for.
Sometimes you can also get confused or make a mistake with your tax. Unfortunately, whether it’s an honest error or not, the ATO can audit you. See a professional tax agent if you’re unsure about anything for peace of mind.
How to Lodge Your 2021 Tax Return Online
There are two main methods you can use to lodge your 2021 tax return online The first is to use a professional tax agent service, which you can access in person or online. The second option is using the ATO’s myTax online system.
Professional Tax Agent – Online Tax Services
Professional online tax services, such as Online Tax Australia, make tax time easy. They can ensure that completing your taxes is stress free and simple, allowing you to lodge your taxes online and maximise your tax return. When you use a tax agent, it usually takes about 10 to 14 days to receive your refund once your return is lodged.
Tax agents are the experts in deductions and eligible claims, so they can maximise your refund by helping you to figure out which deductions you’re eligible for. Tax agents understand all of the complexities of taxation regulations and laws and are up to date on legislation so they can answer your questions and provide advice.
Other benefits of using a professional tax agents include their ability to access and confirm all PAYG, interest, dividend, HECS/HELP and other information. This means you don’t need to access your MyGov account to find this information yourself.
If you have a complex financial situation, a tax agent is a must for navigating tax requirements and deductions. People with investment portfolios or properties can really benefit from an experienced agent to help them complete an accurate tax return.
The cost of a tax agent is deductible on your following year’s tax return, so it’s a sound investment that benefits you in the long run.
myTax is the ATO’s online portal through which anyone can lodge their taxes free of charge. It’s a simple process that offers benefits to people hoping to do their taxes quickly and without the support, advice or cost of an agent. When you use myTax, your refund will usually be processed in around 10 to 14 days. Some of the benefits of using myTax include:
- Links to government agencies and banks – some of the information needed for your return will be pre-filled, saving you time
- Secure and safe – all your identifying information will be protected
- Fill it in over time – as long as you lodge prior to 31 October 2021, you can work on your tax return incrementally.
However, myTax does not confirm your claims are eligible deductions. It also cannot advise you on legal requirements, and any incorrect or incomplete information which may cause an issue for you in the future. The myTax system can become overloaded during busy times, and crashes can be frustrating for users.