Australians can submit their tax returns from 1 July, however early birds’ returns are more likely to be changed by the ATO, potentially leading to processing delays or further questioning.

This is because lodging returns before the income statement – found in their ATO account – is marked ‘tax ready’ and other pre-filled information is received, could fail to include important details. 

Aussies who submit their tax return too soon might find themselves salvaging a “half-baked disaster”, ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh said. 

“Be patient, wait for your data to be pre-filled, and you’ll end up with a perfectly baked tax return," Mr Loh said.

Most employers, banks, government agencies, and health funds are expected to automatically upload important tax information from late July.

Thus, Australians with relatively uncomplicated returns can afford to wait a few extra weeks. 

“Once the information we collect is available, all you need to do is check it and add anything that’s missing,” Mr Loh said.

“Essentially, all a well baked cake now needs is icing and sprinkles.”

Still, the tax office is understanding of potential mistakes or accidental omissions. 

Taypayers who later realise they’ve made a mistake can fix them through the ATO’s online amendment process. That can be accessed via myGov or by contacting a registered tax agent.

Fewer Aussies expected to receive refunds this tax season

The ATO is predicting fewer people will receive a refund for financial year 2022/2023. Plenty might also realise a smaller refund that they were expecting.

Meanwhile, more of us might end up with a debt this tax season.

That might be due in part to the repeal of the Low Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO). The offset previously allowed many Aussies to reduce their tax bill by up to $1,500.

“If you receive a debt this year that you weren’t expecting or you’re getting behind with your tax, you may be able to set up your own payment plan on the ATO website,” Mr Loh said.

“If you need additional support, reach out to us or have a chat with your registered tax agent as early as possible so we can find a solution.”


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