Tax Office warns against over-speedy returns

ATO warns of dangers of filing too-early tax returns - Newsreel
Getting your tax return in early might feel good, but you are twice as likely to make mistakes. | Photo: Fizkes (iStock)

The Australian Taxation Office has warned that people who lodge their tax returns early are twice as likely to make costly mistakes.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Rob Thomson said people who lodged their returns in early July regularly overlooked important information.

“Tax time is not a race, and there is a much higher chance that your return will be missing important information if you lodge in early July,” Mr Thomson said.

“This is particularly relevant if you are receiving income from multiple sources.

“We see lots of mistakes where people who rush to lodge early have forgotten to include interest from banks, dividend income, payments from government agencies and private health insurance details.”

Mr Thomson said most information from employers, banks, government agencies and health funds would be automatically loaded into tax returns by late July.

“We know some prefer to tick their tax return off the to-do list early and not think about it for another 12 months, but the best way to get it right is to wait just a few weeks to lodge,” he said.

“In the meantime, you can get a head start on your tax obligations by gathering all necessary records, ensuring your details are up to date and reviewing the occupational guides on the ATO website to check you’re claiming what you’re entitled to.”

“You can check if your employer has marked your income statement as ‘tax ready’ as well as if your pre-fill is available in myTax before you lodge. Once the information we collect is available, all you need to do is check it and add anything that’s missing.”