Tax return deadline looms

TAX TIME: Assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said more than 82 per cent of NT taxpayers have already and lodged their returns.
TAX TIME: Assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said more than 82 per cent of NT taxpayers have already and lodged their returns.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reminding taxpayers that with the October 31 deadline fast approaching it is time to lodge your return.

Assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said more than 82 per cent of Northern Territory taxpayers have beaten the deadline already and lodged their returns either through myTax or with an agent.  

“Over 85,000 NT residents have already lodged their returns this tax time, but we know some people are leaving their run pretty late,” Ms Anderson said.

“We typically see a spike in lodgments during the last week of tax time, some making mistakes. While you have the advantage of pre-fill information to help you get it right when you lodge at the last minute, some people make mistakes under pressure.”

Ms Anderson said common mistakes include not including bank interest or overriding pre-fill information.

“If you lodge online using myTax, your return will be pre-filled from information provided by your employers, banks, government agencies and other third parties, but it’s important to double-check this information to ensure everything is correct before lodging,” Ms Anderson said.

“It’s okay to override pre-fill information if you think it’s inaccurate or incomplete, but you must ensure you have evidence to back-up any changes you make. Remember, we get information from a range of third-parties and we will follow-up if there is a discrepancy.”   

Ms Anderson said it’s also important to keep in mind that you can only claim deductions that follow the ATO’s three golden rules.

“Firstly, you must have paid for it and not been reimbursed, secondly, it must be directly related to your income and not a private expense, and thirdly, you must have a record to prove it,” Ms Anderson said.

Ms Anderson reiterated that penalties may apply if you lodge after the deadline.

“Even if you miss the deadline, it’s best to get your return in as quickly as you can or get in touch with us if you’re having difficulties,” Ms Anderson said.

“It’s quick and easy to lodge your own tax return online. On average it takes less than 30 minutes to do your return using myTax, so don’t put it off because you think you don’t have the time.

“An agent can lodge your return after October 31, but only if you’re on their books before then. So if you’re using your tax agent for the first time this year, make sure you get in contact with them before the deadline.”

Ranking:

  1. Tasmania – 94 per cent lodged 
  2. South Australia – 85 per cent lodged 
  3. Western Australia – 83 per cent lodged 
  4. Northern Territory – 82 per cent lodged 
  5. Victoria – 81 per cent lodged 
  6. Queensland – 78 per cent lodged 
  7. ACT – 75 per cent lodged 
  8. New South Wales –72 per cent lodged