The Australian Taxation Office’s FREE E-tax service lets you prepare your tax return and baby bonus claim electronically and lodge them online. You might need to do one or the other or both. Most people find e-tax easy to use. In 2006-07 over 1.6 million Australians lodged their tax return using e-tax.
The end of July marks 1 month since the end of the financial & tax year so most people should have received their group certificates (proof of income for the tax office) from employers by then.
If you haven’t received their group certificate/s make sure you hassle your employer/s to hand it over so because you need various details about gross income, tax withheld etc from it to lodge a tax return.
According to the ATO, the benefits of using e-tax are:
- Quick turnaround. In most cases your tax return (including baby bonus claim) or separate baby bonus claim will be processed within 14 days.
- Less effort. e-tax uses your answers from the questions it asks to automatically complete your tax return or baby bonus claim. And along the way, the computer can save you having to enter the same information more than once
- You can roll over last year’s information. If you used e-tax last year and you still have your tax file, you can roll over last year’s information in this year’s tax return.
- You can choose to auto complete your baby bonus claim. e-tax gives you the option to auto complete your baby bonus claim with information held by the Tax Office from your previous claim.
- Instant tax estimate. e-tax provides you with a progressive calculation of the tax payable or the amount of your tax return.
- No mistakes in arithmetic. Calculations are done automatically
- Help is only a click away. e-tax gives you access to Tax Office publications, rulings, help screens and examples
- Final estimate. When you have finished, you will get an estimate of your tax assessment and baby bonus entitlement
However the program itself is not as easy to use as it could be, you need to know what you’re doing and be familiar with Tax Office Jargon and if your income is from several employers, you have various investments (eg: managed funds) generating income, need to calculate depreciation or claim a lot of work related expenses you’re probably better off going to your local accountant and paying them (anywhere between $70 – $140) to do your return properly (remember that tax agent fees are tax deductable too!).
More Tax Help
Since I wrote a few tax tips articles on this website I’ve received a lot of questions from people about their tax returns. The most popular questions I’ve answered are collected at Australian Personal Tax FAQ: Questions & Answers and Basic Tax Tips Anyone Can Follow: Save Money, Pay Less Tax