TAX OFFICE RETIRES E-TAX FOR FASTER SYSTEM
Written on the 6 June 2016
ALL taxpayers will have to switch to myTax this year after the Australian Taxation Office shut down its legacy online lodgement tool e-tax.
The ATO upgraded the replacement tool over the past year to make it suitable for any Australian lodging their own return regardless of their tax affairs.
First introduced in 2014, myTax reduces the time it takes to complete a return and can be accessed on smartphone, tablet or computer.
There was a 70 per cent increase in the number of people lodging through myTax to 1.75 million in 2015.
Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte says some trepidation about the switch is natural, particularly among users of e-tax since its launch in 1999.
"Over the past few years we've been seeing around 3 million Australians prepare their own tax return using either myTax or e-tax, so we're hoping to see 3 million myTax lodgements in 2016," Whyte says.
"For example, not only will Australians with rental properties be able to use myTax this year, but they will also be able to take advantage of the fully integrated tools and calculators. One of these new tools allows property investors to record depreciation and capital gains.
"What we would say to those who are a bit unsure about myTax is to give it a go, you'll probably have your tax return lodged in a fraction of the time."
Around 74 per cent of Australians seek the assistance of a tax agent to lodge, according to the ATO.
"For anyone thinking about using a tax agent for the first time or a different one to last year, it is important to contact them before the end of October to meet their lodgement dates," Whyte says.
"It's also important to ensure you use a registered tax agent, only a registered tax agent can charge a fee for doing your tax return. A list of registered tax agents is available on the Tax Practitioners Board website."
MyTax will be available from July 1.