A guide to your individual tax return
Tax time is just around the corner, and we understand that for many people, it can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. But we assure you, it doesn’t have to be! At Ipsum Advisors, we’re here to guide you through the process of filing your individual tax return in Australia. By the end of this blog post, we hope to show you that with the right preparation and guidance, your tax return can be a manageable and even empowering experience. Let’s dive in and make this tax season less daunting!
1. Getting started
Firstly, you need to determine whether you even need to lodge a return. Reasons for lodging include:
- Having tax withheld from your income.
- Receiving foreign income.
- Having business or investment income.
Next, make sure you have all the required information at hand. Our Individual Tax Return checklist provides a comprehensive list of everything you’ll need to have ready to lodge your return, including documents related to your income and deductions.
2. Preparing your tax return
Your tax return is a form you can complete online, on paper, or have a tax agent submit, that tells the government how much income you have earned and allows you to claim tax deductions. They use this information to check if you have paid the right amount of tax or are owed a refund or a tax bill. The tax return covers the income year from 1 July to 30 June, and it must be lodged by 31 October if you are preparing it yourself. If you have engaged with a tax agent previously; you will have more time up until 15 May, 2024. For more information about tax deadlines, click here. When lodging your tax return, you must include your income and any expenses you can claim as a deduction. Tax deductible expenses include costs related to transport and travel, work-from-home expenses, work uniforms and much more.
3. Lodge your tax return
You have plenty of options to choose from when filing your tax return. One option is to use myTax (MyGov) to complete and lodge your tax return online, which is quick, safe, and secure. Another option is to employ a registered tax agent (like Ipsum) to prepare and lodge your return. Additionally, the Australian Taxation Office provides specific guidelines for lodging in various circumstances, including for first-time lodgers, those leaving Australia, those lodging from outside of Australia, those lodging for a prior year, and advice for those who do not need to lodge a tax return at all.
4. Check the progress of your tax return
To track the progress of your tax return, you can use the ATO’s self-help services, through the ATO app, by phone or with your registered tax agent. Online returns process within 2 weeks, while paper returns take up to 10 weeks. If your return requires manual checks, it may take longer, so don’t worry if it’s taking a little more time than you expected.
5. Seek advice
If you find preparing and lodging your tax return overwhelming, don’t worry! At Ipsum Advisors, we are here to help you. Our team of experienced tax professionals can guide you through the tax process and ensure that you meet all your tax obligations. Also be sure to download our Tax Return Checklist so you can be sure you have everything ready to make the process as painless as possible. Visit our contact page to get in touch today.
This is general advice only and doesn’t take into account your financial circumstances, needs and objectives. Before making any decision based on this information you should assess your own circumstances or seek advice from your financial advisor and seek tax advice from your accountants at Ipsum Advisors. Information is current at the date of issue and may change.