With under a week to go until the cut-off date, less than two-thirds of Aussie taxpayers have lodged their 2016-17 tax return – raising concerns costly mistakes will be made in the last-minute rush.
According to the ATO, only 63 per cent of taxpayers have already submitted their returns – meaning that two in five Australians are in for a last-minute rush to get individual returns in by the 31 October deadline.
“Some people are leaving their run pretty late,” said ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson.
“We typically see a spike in lodgements during the last week of tax time, some making mistakes. While you have the advantage of pre-fill information to help you get it right when you lodge at the last minute, some people make mistakes under pressure.”
According to Ms Anderson, some of the most common mistakes with online completion of tax returns are making errors when overriding pre-fill information, and overlooking interest earned on bank accounts.
“It’s okay to override pre-fill information if you think it’s inaccurate or incomplete, but you must ensure you have evidence to back up any changes you make. Remember, we get information from a range of third-parties and we will follow-up if there is a discrepancy.”
Individuals and business owners are able to lodge after 31 October through their accountant, but only if they are already registered with the accountant. Otherwise, penalties apply for late lodgement, including interest being charged on any amount owing.
“So if you’re using your tax agent for the first time this year, make sure you get in contact with them before the deadline,” Ms Anderson said.