People who are Australian residents for tax purposes have until October 31 to lodge their tax returns for the 2022/23 financial year, or they will cop a fine.
ATO assistant commissioner Rob Thomson said about 9.5 million people had lodged, but there was a long way to go.
"We've seen a last minute rush in recent weeks with lodgments increasing by 14%, but there are still some people yet to lodge," Mr Thomson said.
"Whatever the reason for waiting until the last minute, it's important to lodge your tax return on time, or engage with a registered tax agent before 31 October."
People with simple affairs can lodge online using ATO online services with myTax, accessed through myGov, often in under 30 minutes. Most of the information you need will already be pre-filled - just check it's correct, add any additional income, and claim the deductions you're entitled to.
Registered tax agents can also be used for those who need a helping hand or have more complex affairs. To check whether an agent is registered, visit the Tax Practitioners' Board register here.
Also, the Tax Help program is a free and confidential service open to people who earn $60,000 or less each year and have simple tax affairs. The program is available until the end of October.
Mr Thomson has some handy reminders for those who haven't yet lodged.
Claiming deductions: While tempting to boost your refund by leaving out income or inflating your deductions, the ATO has sophisticated data analytics that will flag claims that look suspicious.
Record keeping: Make sure you have a record, for example a receipt, of any deductions you claim. A common reason deductions aren't honoured is because a record wasn't given to verify the expense.
Occupation guides: Go to ato.gov.au/occupations and check out the 40 occupation and industry specific guides that can help you understand what you can and can't claim this tax time.
Payment due date: The due date to pay is November 21, regardless of when you lodge your tax statement. If you are using a registered tax agent your due date may be later.
Check your details: If you are expecting a refund, ensure your bank account details are up-to-date, as this is a common reason for delayed refunds.
You may receive a Failure to lodge (FTL) on time penalty if you have an obligation to lodge or report by a particular date, but don't lodge by that due date. This may include lodging your tax return, reporting PAYG instalments, GST or PAYG withholding on an activity statement by the due date.
Fines for not lodging for incidents that occurred on or after July 1, 2023, start at $313. Full details about fines can be found here.
The ATO isn't totally heartless; it said it recognises people don't meet their lodgment obligations on time sometimes, and generally don't apply penalties in isolated cases of late lodgment. If you don't lodge, they will warn you in writing.
If you use an agent, safe harbour provisions may protect you.
More information can be found here.
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