With the October deadline for lodgement of personal tax returns passing, the ATO has released the new annual lodgement figure obtained through the myTax software. This software enables taxpayers to lodge their own returns without needing the services of a registered tax agent.
The 2019 financial year returns saw an increase in the volume of returns lodged through myTax from 3.7 million to 4.4 million. This was not unexpected given the increases in the low and middle tax offsets that the Federal Government is paying out this year.
However what was surprising is the average refund only rose from $2,379 to $2,800 for the year which is less than the $1,080 tax offset available and being paid out. This indicates that the tax returns lodged through myTax this year contained fewer deductions than last year.
This is a timely reminder to taxpayers of the benefits in lodging their returns through a registered tax agent. Although the system is trying to make it easier for people to lodge their own tax returns without utilising a tax agent, these figures indicate the ATO’s procedure of warning taxpayers about over claiming their deductions has had an impact. Using a registered tax agent ensures that your return is lodged with every available and claimable deduction and ensures you have minimised your tax liability. It also provides peace of mind that your tax return has been completed correctly.