Online Tax Is Different In 2014: Here's What You Need To Know

Submitting your taxes online is generally the fastest way to get your refund quickly. This year, you'll be able to choose from two different options: e-tax and MyTax.

MyTax is a newly-introduced option aimed at, in the words of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), "streamlined online tax return designed specifically for people with straightforward tax affairs". Unlike the existing e-tax software, it's browser-based, so you should be able to use it on virtually any computer, tablet or smartphone.

MyTax works if you only have salary and wage income and deductions related to that income. There's a full set of questions on the ATO site which will tell you if you are eligible.

MyTax will be pre-filled with information from previous returns. One nuisance with that: according to the ATO, that full set of data may not be available until early August. However, if you're willing to fill out the date yourself, you can use the service from 1 July.

If your tax affairs are more complex but you don't plan to use an accountant, then the existing e-tax software (available for Windows and Mac) remains the best choice. This year's e-tax software should become available on 1 July from the ATO.

One big change that affects both e-tax and MyTax: you'll need to be registered with the government-wide myGov service (which also tracks interactions with Medicare, Centrelink and other services) in order to use it. You can register for myGov here.

Reminder: For specific tax advice relating to your individual situation, consult a registered professional.


Comments

    Urgh, MyGov is such an awful "service". It really has been designed and implemented by a committee of bureaucrats.

      Urgh indeed. MyGov looked like it was still in Alpha last time I looked at it, not so long ago.

    You do not need a mygov account to use e-tax this year.
    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2281917

      I can confirm this works. The problem is most people will never be told this because the ATO is basically lying to people. I have gone so far as to lodge a formal complaint about this and will take it to the ombudsman if I don't get a satisfactory response.

      As far as prefilling, etc not being available until mid August, that is the way it always has been. Withholders aren't required to lodge their reports until 14 August, and the ATO can't prefill stuff it doesn't yet have.

    It's surprising that the journalist who wrote this bothered to add a by-line - it reads as if it was written by the ATO and reproduced without any critical analysis at all! Most Aussies use a tax agent, several of which offer online service. The ATO probably collects a bit more tax money from self-preparers so of course that's why ATO advertising implies that self-preparing is the primary way to lodge -- which it isn't.

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