How You Can Submit Your Tax Online In 2015

As the end of June approaches, tax time is upon us once again. Lifehacker's annual Tax Week series kicks off by looking at the most important question for tech-savvy taxpayers: what are the official online submission options?

Computer picture from Shutterstock

Many Australians won't worry about this question, because they pay a tax agent or accountant to handle their tax. If you fall into that category, you don't need to worry about the electronic submission options (though your agent will undoubtedly submit your return electronically on your behalf). If you're in the do-it-yourself camp, however, you have two options.

The Australian Taxation Office is again offering a simple browser-based platform, myTax, for people with relatively straightforward tax affairs — handy if you've only worked in a single job and don't have complex deductions. To use this, you need to be registered for the myGov service (which also offers access to Medicare, Centrelink and other government services). This ATO page will help you work out if myTax is suitable for you. As it's browser-based, it works across PCs, Macs and tablets, so you're not restricted by your choice of technology.

Last year, roughly one million taxpayers chose the myTax option. myTax has been expanded slightly this year so it can handle superannuation, lump sum payments, managed investment funds and foreign pensions.

The ATO is keen to stress that it won't unfairly fine people who use myTax but end up making a simple mistake. "Our research tells us one of the biggest barriers for people doing their own tax return is the fear of making a mistake," Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said. "If you do accidentally get something wrong and it turns out you owe the ATO money, naturally you will have to pay the tax you owe. However the ATO will not penalise you for the mistake."

If your tax affairs are more complex, you can use the e-Tax software, which is available for Windows PCs and Macs. You will still need to register for a myGov online account to use this. The 2015 version of e-tax is due for release on July 1 2015.

Whether you use myTax or e-Tax, you can take advantage of pre-filling of information from your employer, bank, health insurance provider and other information sources. The ATO says it expects most of that information to be present by early August. (You can submit at any time after July 1 provided you have the information yourself.)

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


Comments

    You forgot to answer your introductory question "what are the official online payment options?"

    You may have meant to ask "what are the official online options?"

    MyGov is a piece of shit. Tried it last year and could not get registered with it. There was a way around using it last year by inputting taxhelp as your mygov username on the e-Tax application. Hopefully that will still work.

    I just wish they would release the software before June 30 so you could get an estimate
    (but couldn't submit).

    That way you could load everything up and go "Ok my estimate is $X. What would it be if I added a $1000 laptop?" that way you could decide if any last minute business related expenses were worth it or not.

      That would be handy, although adding a laptop for personal would not make much difference a few days before as you must depreciate everything over $300. This is also pro rata so you would get the few day of the deduction. Pretty sure the limit is higher for ABN holders but not sure with the new $20000 write off.

        Good point, my laptop analogy is a bad one.

      Being helpful is not in their bureaucratic rules.

      Try www.taxcalc.com.au its a simple calculator that will do what you want.
      Just make sure you select the right year as rates change.

      Too late now but if you still had e-tax 2014 you could have done up a dummy return with 2015 info and use the tax calculator to work out your refund or payment. Tax rates were the same as 2015 but just have to adjust for higher Medicare levy in 2015 (2% instead of 1.5%). Same will apply next year but check for any changes between 2015 and 2016.

    When using E-Tax or MyTax the return estimate is always around half of the estimates from a place like H&R Block. The official methods are a swindle.

    I think that has a lot to do with the fact people are scared to claim stuff that they can claim where places like H&R Block have the knowledge about what can be claimed and claim a lot more.

    Not always true, my fiance went to them last year and was only going to get $200 back from the $800 she had paid in taxes (apprentice) yet when I did it for her on etax she got the lot back.

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