The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reminding Australians that today, 31 October, is the last day for taxpayers to lodge their own tax return, or they will potentially cop a large fine.
News.com.au have reported that as of Sunday afternoon, more than 9.4 million Australians had lodged their tax returns. This is an increase of almost 4 per cent above last year.
To encourage taxpayers to lodge on time, the ATO have released five myth busting facts about tax time:
MYTH: “I plan to use an agent this year so the deadline doesn’t matter”
If you used a registered agent, you need to be on their books by 31 October, regardless of the deadline. If you register with an agent after the 31 October deadline, your lodgement will still be considered overdue and penalties may apply.
MYTH: “I didn’t earn any money through my business this year, so I don’t need to declare”
Even if you had a nil or negative income from your business, you’re still required to declare this to the ATO.
MYTH: “I’m on Centrelink benefits so I don’t have to lodge a return”
If you’re a Centrelink beneficiary, there are some circumstances where you may still be required to lodge – for example, if you’re assessed to pay or receive child support.
MYTH: “I earned less than the tax-free threshold of $18,200, therefore I don’t need to lodge a tax return”
A lot of taxpayers get confused between paying no tax and doing their tax return. If you earn under $18,200 and didn’t pay any tax during the year, you can still declare your income to the ATO. This is done through a non-lodgement advice form and lets us know that you don’t need to lodge a return. If you earned under $18,200 and you DID pay tax (even if it was only $1), then you’re required to lodge a return even if you don’t want your excess tax payment refunded.
MYTH: “I’m retired and not required to lodge anymore”
Regardless of your age and working status, you must lodge if you have received taxable income over the threshold.