Nowadays, everything is going online, including your tax lodgement, which can make the process very simple.
There are several benefits to doing your tax return lodgement online:
- You can do it from the comfort of your own home
- You can complete it whenever is most convenient to you
- If you only have time to complete your 2019 tax return in increments, you can upload parts of it and then come back to it later
- You don’t have to worry about forgetting anything as you would if you were seeing a tax agent in-person; all of your documents and receipts are at your fingertips
How Can I Lodge My Tax Return 2019 Online?
There are two main choices when it comes to lodging your 2019 tax returns online:
- The ATO’s myTax system
- An online lodgement system provided by a tax agent
2019 Changes to Doing Your Tax Return Online
As of this year, companies no longer have to issue group certificates if they are using the Single Touch Payroll (STP). Instead, you can now download your own income statement, or payment summary, through the myGov website. This contains all the information previously included in a PAYG Summary (group certificate).
Your income statement is available throughout the year and will be updated each time you’re paid by your employer. When it is finalised by your employer, however, it will be labelled as ‘tax ready’. Once it is labelled as ‘tax ready’ you will be able to use your income statement to complete your 2019 online tax return.
myTax is the free online system provided by the ATO to lodge your tax return. As with any free service there are benefits and downsides. The benefits of using myTax for your tax return include:
- Government agencies, banks, and employers are all linked to the myTax system, so any information they provide will automatically be filled out.
- The complex software means that your information is secure and protected.
- As long as you fill it out before the 31 October 2019, it can be done at any time.
- Once the lodgement is placed, your refund is processed within 10 to 14 days.
- If you use myDeductions, you can upload any data you have from there and it will automatically be added to your return.
- Each step is accompanied by instructions, so there’s no need to know the software prior to filling out your return.
As with any free service, there are also several drawbacks to using myTax for your online tax return:
- There will sometimes be gaps in the pre-filled information (such as missing PAYGs, dividends etc), however the ATO deems you are still accountable for any errors—even if you have relied on their information.
- It is not focused on helping you to maximise your eligible deductions so your refund potential may be limited.
- Eligible deductions are constantly being added and changed, so you may not be aware of some of the things you are able to claim with myTax providing limited advice services regarding your specific situation.
- The myTax system is has a history of unreliability during the peak tax seasons.
- If you do make a mistake the process to action it can be complex, confusing and stressful without experienced guidance.
Professional Online Tax Services
Professional online tax services, like Online Tax Australia, provide many of the benefits of myTax and many more all for a fixed , tax deductible price.
These additional benefits include:
- A tax agent will help to make sure you are getting the maximum return on your tax and can help to remind you of the deductions you are eligible for.
- When using a professional online tax service, the deadline date is extended, so you don’t have to worry about getting everything together by 31 October 2019. Instead, you lodge your return as late as May 2020.
- A tax agent can help to ensure that your tax return lodgement is filled out correctly so you don’t run into any roadblocks in the future.
- A tax agent can help you navigate more complex tax returns, which may include dividend income, trust distribution, and capital gains.
- Just like myTax, you will receive your 2019 tax refund within 10 to 14 days of lodging your return.
- If you have any questions or need an advice, a tax agent can help to answer all your questions that you may not be able to find an answer to on Google.
The one downside to using a professional online tax service over myTax is the cost. However, people often find that using a tax agent maximises their return, covering the fee charged with cash left to spare. Keep in mind, the fee for using a tax agent is also completely tax deductible on your next year’s tax return.