From the end of September, 7.9 million Australians had filed their tax returns —400,000 less than the same time last year, according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
The ATO is urging Australians to file their tax returns as the deadline to file or acquire the services of a registered tax agent is fast approaching.
Here’s what you need to know to avoid a fine.
When is the tax deadline for 2022/23?
If you file your tax return yourself with the ATO, the deadline is Tuesday, October 31.
If you are considering accommodation via a registered tax agent they will have a little more time to submit their application due to a different accommodation schedule.
However, you will still need to contact a tax agent before the deadline closes. October 31.
What happens if I miss the tax deadline?
You will still be able to file your tax return after the deadline, but you risk a fine from the ATO.
The fine for non-payment on time is $222and an additional $222 for each 28 days the return is late.
Although this amount is capped, it could end up costing you up to $1,110 if you do not file a declaration.
When should I pay my tax bill?
If the ATO has given you a tax invoice, the payment deadline is Tuesday November 21.
What happens if I miss the payment deadline?
You will be charged interest on your tax debt.
If you do not pay your bill before On November 21, your debt will increase daily at an annual rate of 11.15 percent.
How do I file my tax return?
There are three ways to do this:
- File it online with myTax: This option will allow you to prepare your own declaration via your myGov account
- File it through a registered tax agent: A professional tax agent will prepare and file your return. This will incur a fee, but you will be able to claim these fees on your tax return next year.
- File a paper tax return: You can prepare your return on paper and file it by mail
How long does it take for my tax return to be processed?
If you file your tax return online, it must be processed within two weeks.
If you submit it on paper, it must be processed on time 10 weeks of the ATO which receives it.
Once your return has been processed, you will receive a Notice of Assessment (NOA) which will display:
- The tax you owe on your taxable income
- The credit you have for tax already paid during the income year
- The tax you need to pay or your refund
- Any reduction or excess reimbursement in private health (if applicable)
Once your application has been processed, the ATO will automatically return any tax refund to your nominated financial institution.
How can I pay my tax bill?
For a number of reasons, including the end of tax relief for low and middle incomes, more Australians could see a bill this time around.
Your NOA will tell you how much you owe the ATO.
There are several ways to pay your tax bill, including:
- ATO online services
- Electronic payment
- By telephone
- In person at an Australian post office
What should I do if I can’t pay my tax bill?
Although the ATO is firm in its repayment deadlines, there are options if you are experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your bill.
The ATO is urging those who cannot pay their bill to contact it as soon as possible.
“It is in your best interests to engage with the ATO before the bill is due if you cannot pay in full and on time. This means engaging with us before it becomes a tax debt where interest will pile up daily – and before we take stronger action,” ATO Deputy Commissioner Jillian Kitto said.
In certain circumstances, the ATO may offer:
- Payment plans: The ATO will divide your debt into smaller payments rather than one lump sum.
- Tax debt compromise: This can reduce or eliminate your debt if you are in financial difficulty – this is applied in limited circumstances
- Deferred payment: TThe ATO may reconsider the calculation of the mandatory HECS/HELP refund due to financial hardship, death or serious illness or other difficult circumstances, which will reduce your tax bill.
All concessions must be requested and approved by the ATO.
What are the tax rates for FY 22/23?
Australian residents are taxed on the amount of taxable income they receive during the financial year.
For financial year 22/23, the tax rates are as follows:
Tax on this income
0 – $18,200
$18,201 – $45,000
19c for every dollar over $18,200
$45,001 – $120,000
$5,092 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $45,000
$120,001 – $180,000
$29,467 plus 37c for each $1 over $120,000
$180,001 and more
$51,667 plus 45c for every $1 over $180,000
Beware of fraudsters at tax time
Tax time has also increased the number of scammers posing as ATO employees.
More … than 4,600 ATO impersonation scams were reported in July and August, compared to 2,588 reports during the same period last year.
Deputy Commissioner of the ATO Tim Loh said the real number was likely much higher.
“We know people are embarrassed when they fall for a scam, but what we would say is this: it can be easy to get scammed if you’re not focused. These scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated,” he said.
“Everyone thinks it’s normally the older people who get scammed the most, but it’s actually the younger people we see getting scammed.”
Mr Loh said there were three main scams on the ATO’s radar, most of which relied on access to a person’s myGov account.
“Your myGov information is like the keys to your house,” he said.
“If you give them to a scammer, it’s like giving your house keys to a stranger and having them change your locks.”
Here are some tips given by Mr. Loh to avoid scams this tax season:
- Access myGov directly through your browser. Do not click on any links in emails or text messages
- Be wary of pre-recorded phone messages claiming to be from the ATO. The real ATO will always have a live human on the other end of the line
- Beware of fake ATO social media accounts slide into your DMs