July 6, 2006

Tax Time Online

As one financial year ends and another begins it’s time to roll up your sleeves and prepare your tax return. The web is a great resource that can save you both time and money.

The first site to check out is the Australian Tax Office. Online you’ll find a comprehensive guide to completing your tax including very handy calculators that you let you work out everything from Income Tax, to PAYG tax to Superannuation. Simply click on ‘For Individuals’ in the left hand navigation and select ‘Rates, Calculators and Tools’.

Businesses will also find the ATO website handy. If you do your BAS statements manually it might be time to consider submitting electronically. To start the process log on here. This is the ATO gateway to online services for businesses. It provides an easy way to access information and lets you transact with the government in a secure online environment. To access this portal you must first register for an ATO digital certificate. Again, this can be completed online at www.ato.gov.au/onlineservices. Click on the ‘Register for a digital certificate’ link from the left hand navigation and follow the instructions. Your computer will need to be at least a Pentium running at 200Mhz or faster with Windows 98SE and newer operating systems supported. Any Mac running OS X with at least 128Mb can access the site.

If you are comfortable doing your tax return on line you may want to look at www.etax.com.au. The basic Etax service costs $35 plus GST. For this you’ll get a review of your return by a qualified CPA, compliance review of your return, lodgement to the ATO and refund in 14 working days (after the lodgement).

One last site to visit is Taxpayer. Taxpayer is a not-for-profit website that aims to educate taxpayers via various sources including media, educational publications and seminars relating to tax and superannuation.