The ATO said first-time investors often misunderstand their tax obligations in relation to reporting capital gains from the sale of shares and income in the form of dividends and distributions.
Assistant commissioner Tim Loh explained that the ATO is keenly aware that the growth of micro-investment platforms has helped a record number of new investors enter the market.
“Unfortunately, first-time investors often don’t understand their taxation obligations, don’t keep appropriate records and are more likely to make mistakes when lodging their tax returns,” he said.
The ATO receives data from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), brokers, exchanges and share registries on dividend payments and the purchase and sale of shares. For example, this tax time, information on 5.8 million transactions will automatically be added to the tax returns of 612,000 taxpayers.
“While this data makes tax time much simpler, it is still important for investors to check that all their relevant data has been included,” Mr Loh said.
The ATO is urging all taxpayers to check that all relevant data has been included in their tax return before lodging or make sure their registered tax agent has all the necessary information before lodging.
“Even the best registered tax agents can only work with the information they are given,” Mr Loh concluded.