ATO gives ‘green light’ to lodge tax returns

Four out of five taxpayers are set to receive a refund this year, with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) officially giving the “green light” to lodge returns.

Last year, the average Aussie received $2,900 back in their tax return.

Already, more than $5.7 billion has been refunded to more than 2 million taxpayers.

“The majority of taxpayers can now lodge their tax return as more than 80 million pieces of information are available in pre-fill,” assistant commissioner Tim Loh said.

“Much of the information we collect from employers, banks, private health insurers, share registries and other institutions is now ready to go in your tax return.”

Critically, employers have provided income statements or payment summaries that show the amount received and withheld.

The ATO said it was important to ensure these income statements were marked as “Tax Ready” by employers before lodging.

Although this information is pre-filled, Loh said taxpayers should check their details were accurate and make sure there was no missing information that hadn’t been pre-filled.

He said income from rentals, side hustles and the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment from Services Australia would need to be manually added.

“After lodging your tax return, you can keep an eye on how it is progressing through ATO online services, the ATO app or by phone,” Loh said.

“If you lodged through a registered tax agent, they can also check this for you.”

If you lodge yourself, you’ll get a text message when the ATO is in the final stages of processing your refund. The message will include an estimate of any refund owed.


Tax relief for low and middle-income earners

The 2021/22 financial year will be the last time taxpayers receive additional tax relief through the low and middle income tax offset (LMITO).

Aussies have saved an extra $1,080 each year for the past two years, thanks to this tax-relief mechanism.

The former Coalition government boosted the LMITO in the most recent Federal Budget, increasing the offset to a maximum of $1,500.

According to the ATO, you don’t need to do anything extra to get any tax relief you’re entitled to.

The tax office will calculate any tax offset you are eligible for when you lodge your 2021/22 income tax return.

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