If you’re looking for a faster way to sort out your tax this end of financial year, there’s good news – technology is taking the headache out of tax time as online options become more accessible. And with the average cost of a tax agent at $371 , it might not just be time you’re saving – you could be saving big bucks too. Here’s how to make the most of what’s on offer.

Easy communication with the ATO

Start by creating a myGov account. This will enable the Australian Tax Office to correspond with you directly via your myGov digital mailbox. Once you’ve set up your account, simply follow the prompts to link it to the ATO.

Simple tax returns – at the click of a button

Paper tax returns are fast becoming a thing of the past, with millions of Australians choosing to lodge their tax returns online. And it’s simple to do – once your myGov account is linked through to the ATO, you’re good to go.

The ATO’s free online services pre-fill your return with information from your last tax return, and details provided by your employer, bank and government agencies. All you need to do is review the information to check it’s correct, add any missing details and submit.

You have two options: MyTax and eTax. Here’s what you need to know about the difference.

1. MyTax

The ATO has launched a new streamlined tax return process called MyTax, designed for people with straightforward tax affairs. You’re eligible for MyTax if:

  • You’re an Australian resident.
  • Your income is from salary, allowance, bank interest, dividends or government payments.
  • Your deductions are work-related expenses, income from interest, gifts or the cost of managing your tax affairs.
  • Your only tax offsets are the seniors and pensioners tax offset, the zone and overseas forces tax offset or the private health insurance rebate.

2. E-tax

If you have more complex tax affairs, you may not be eligible to use MyTax. In this case, you’ll need to use e-tax – a free, convenient and secure way to lodge your own tax return online.

For example, you might have to use e-tax if you have income from sources other than salary, such as from a business or rental property, or a self-managed investment fund.
If you’re not sure whether MyTax or e-tax is the right option for you, the ATO has an online decision tool to help you decide the best way to lodge your tax return.

Added support from the ATO app

If you need more guidance, the ATO has a free app to help you access relevant tax and super information, and find the online tools you need – all in one place. It also lets you lodge a return and track its progress, so it’s easier to manage your tax on the go.

Find out more

It can be tough to navigate the Australian tax system on your own, especially around tax time. A financial adviser can help you work out your tax options – and make sure you’re not paying more than you should be. Speak to us today.