June marks my 8th month in Australia, having recently crossed the pond from cooler climes in the UK. Aside from the weather, there’ve been a couple of other adjustments I’ve needed to make to my lifestyle:
- Considerably better coffee
- Compulsory shortening of most words
A discussion in the office last week led to the revelation that a very important task was missed from my list: tax returns.
Now, I can’t speak for other countries, but if you’re also from the UK you’ll know that tax returns are pretty much a magical annual occurrence that happens with very little interference from the individual, providing you’re not self-employed/a business owner. In Australia, it’s a different story and everyone is required to file a tax return, including anyone on a Working Holiday Visa.
For anyone else who feels a bit baffled by the prospect of doing their own tax-return, see below some questions I annoyed my colleague Samantha with along with the helpful advice from the ATO website.
What does it all mean!?
Though there are some exceptions the general rule of thumb is if you’ve earned money, and you’ve been taxed, you need to lodge a tax return.
If you’re a first timer, make sure you
- have your tax file number
- have your passport
- have created a myGov account
Click here to create your myGov account now.
When do I need to lodge my tax return?
Before 31st October. The financial year is dated 1st July 2016 – 30th June 2017.
Can I do a tax return myself?
Yes, you can! Have a look at myTax to start your tax return online.
Who else can help me?
If you visit www.tpb.gov.au/tax-agents you can find a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge your tax return for you. Only registered tax agents can charge a fee for this. If you are using a tax agent, the deadline would be later but they have their own schedules so you need to check with them.
What evidence/paperwork do I need for my tax?
Your tax file number and your PAYG summary, issued by your employer. For a full list of what you can claim and the required documents, please visit this page.
How long does it take?
If you’re lodging it yourself online, you should receive your refund within two weeks. If you lodge it through a registered tax agent, it’s best to check with them directly.
By Claudia Bellwood, Temp Consultant, Rusher Rogers
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