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MyGov users warned about getting tax bill when lodging tax return

MyGov users warned about getting tax bill when lodging tax return

Taxpayers are urged to take caution after several people have been stung with tax bills after accidentally submitting a tax return through the myGov portal.

The way employees access their annual payment information has been different this year, as annual payment summaries issued by employers were phased out and taxpayers were moved to the myGov system.

MyGov is a secure way to access government services with one login and password. Users can access government departments such as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Medicare, Centrelink and a range of other government services through the one portal.

Now that employees are using the myGov service to access their annual payment information, they will also find they have the option to complete and lodge their individual tax return online using pre-filled information.

For some individuals who have very simple tax matters without deductions or investments, this will work fine. However, LDB has seen an influx of clients accidently lodging their returns via this service, leading to tax liabilities rather than refunds the clients would normally receive.

While these returns can be amended and resubmitted, the entire process can become more stressful than normal for some. If you are planning on preparing and lodging your tax return by yourself via myGov, please consider the following:

  • The pre-filling information isn’t always accurate, so you should check this data against your source records
  • The pre-filling data takes time to be complete. Lodging too early may mean information such as interest, dividends or managed funds have not had a chance to feed into the ATO and you may be failing to report assessable income. This could result in the ATO issuing amended assessments and potential penalties for failing to report all income
  • The new service does not pre-fill your deductions. We have seen many clients lodge a tax return and have to pay tax because they have failed to include deductions or are unaware of what deductions they could be claiming.

While myGov is an option for employees to lodge returns, it is not compulsory. You can avoid taking any action within myGov by arranging a tax agent, such as LDB, to handle your tax affairs.

Anyone who lodges a return via a registered tax agent has the added benefit of extended due dates lasting up to May 15, 2020 instead of October 31, 2019. It also gives you piece of mind that the amounts being reported are being done so in line with the relevant taxation legislation, reducing the risk of amendments and potential penalties.

Need help with myGov and lodging your tax return?

With a team of expert accountants available at LDB, we can guide you through the tax return process, from completing the correct forms to finding out which deductions are relevant for you.

To find out more, give us a call on (03) 9875 2900 or fill in the contact form below.

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