Lodging Your First Tax Return – For Individuals
If you have just stepped into the adult life for whom the term ‘tax return’ is completely new, do not worry as we are here to help. Let us get started with what tax return actually is.
A tax return is a legalized form listing your income, including your salary, interest and dividend payments, and other sources of profit. This document outlines your personal financial information helping you know how much tax is to be paid, plan for upcoming tax payments, and appeal for tax paybacks if you notice you have overpaid your taxes.
If you are still wondering whether you should file a tax return or not, here is a list of cases and if you fall under any of them, just go get your tax return lodged.
- Individual incomes exceeding $18,200 which is the tax-free limit for the first income year.
- Business owners. It does not matter whether the venture is facing losses or low incomes.
- Income earners earning below $18,200 but still had a tax amount deducted from it.
- If you were a part of the Pay As You Go Installment Tax and want to get your money back.
- If the Commissioner demands this legal document. It should be presented even if there are no income records.
- Under-18 residents facing tax deductions upon payments crossing $416 from dividends or other sources.
If you consider yourself to be in any of the above-mentioned categories and have not yet lodged your tax return, you may get a call from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to lodge one soon.
Getting started on the procedures
Enough of what tax return is and who are required to file for one has been discussed. Now, let us get to the steps of lodging your very first tax return.
There are two options for you to lodge your tax return. You may want to do it individually or take the help of tax agencies for better guidance.
This process requires three steps, and the first one is to sign up for the myGov account. This account not only helps to lodge your tax return but also opens the doors for you to enjoy a number of Australian government services, including ATO. This simple account only asks for a username and password. You may opt for the option which sends a text to your phone upon logging into your myGov account, just to add an extra layer of protection to your important data.
The second step to follow is connecting your myGov account to ATO. It only requires your basic, personal information and your tax file number. All of it is then followed by your identity confirmation where you are given a number of questions and have to answer two of those that suit you. These questions mostly relate to your bank account, previous tax payment summary, and if you have received any refunds of your overpaid tax.
If you still fail to find a suitable question for you to answer due to having no information regarding them, then you may have to contact the taxation office to receive your code, successfully connecting your myGov account with ATO. This too might require your tax file number besides other documents confirming your identity like your driver’s license or Medicare card.
As soon as your myGov account is connected to the ATO, you may be able to easily lodge your tax return with the help of myTax. Hitting the ‘lodge’ button is all you need to begin with.
It is your first time lodging for your tax return, and there is nothing to worry upon things going slightly wrong in the entire process. The tax office will provide you with complete assistance regarding this and the three steps to individual lodging are not very difficult to follow.
Lodging through tax agencies
If you are not too confident about doing it all by yourself, then tax agents are always there at your service. Reaching out to a tax agent for help may bring you face to face with experienced tax consultants who can provide apt information regarding your financial information.
As soon as your tax return is ready, tax agents help you revise the document thoroughly before submitting it to the ATO, leaving no room for errors, which leads to an efficient lodging procedure. Tax agents also provide annual services and you can always contact them if you face any critical issues.
Last date for lodging
While the individual lodging time lies between July 1st and October 31st, carrying out this process online in August or September enables your personal information to be already present in your document. This prevents you from leaving behind any important information.
The advantage of lodging through tax agents is that your lodging deadline gets extended, due to the registered organizations having a direct connection with ATO. This gives you more time to sort things out and ensure the successful outcome of your first tax return lodging.