Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Tax time

Tax time is with us ...but this year there's no "Tax Pack" available from the newsagent.   True, I use e-Tax, but I kinda liked to have the "hard copy" beside me as a guide.  Apparently the ATO will post out a hard copy return to fill in if you ring them up.

A little googling, and I see that last year the hard copy "Tax Pack"  was a simplified version.

The ATO obviously wants to get taxpayers to use e-Tax.     According to them, e-Tax has been reasonably widely used in previous years - although I do find it a little strange that I rarely seem to  encounter any of the 2.6 million people who are said to be users.   My "top of the head" (totally unsubstantiated) theory is that this includes returns lodged by at least some tax agents (at the cheaper end of the scale, maybe?)
The last "full" Tax Pack?

Having used e-Tax for a number of years, I am no longer intimidated by it - but it certainly gets a little more complex every year.  This is due to legislative changes, of course, as the software has to keep up.

I hadn't realised it, but apparently it's also possible for individuals to use commercial software to prepare and lodge their tax return.  In other words, this seems to be a compromise between doing it all yourself (using the ATO software) and asking a tax agent to undertake the whole process, including in-putting the data into the system.   In our on-line world, a half-way house such as this seems logical, although I've no idea at all about the reliability of the particular website that I've linked to, which appears to be based in a PO box in a Brisbane suburb!

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