Personal tax deadline is 31 October
Sydney, 4th August, 2015: Thousands of Australians delay the inevitable by waiting to the last minute to file their personal tax return. Perhaps we love living on the edge or perhaps it is due to fear of the unknown. Either way, the consequences can be devastating – from unnecessary stress, to accruing tax office penalties. More insidious, says MoneyBrilliant, is the impact of this issue on your broader financial health and security.
CEO of online personal finance hub, MoneyBrilliant, Jemma Enright said: “Putting off filing a tax return is an all too common issue. More often than not, it comes down to that feeling of dread when you’re not on top of your finances. The only way to get back in control is to take the bull by the horns and get organised. Otherwise you can face some hefty risks, including late lodgement fees.”
Here are some of the top excuses Aussies use to justify their tax time procrastination, and why they need to change their perspective.
1. If I ignore my tax it will go away.
This isn’t true. Tax is one thing that never goes away. Procrastinating will only leave it looming over you for longer. The only way to turn the issue around is to take action.
2. I’m going to get a huge penalty for being late.
You may incur a late fee just like back in the old days when you got library fines for returning books late. However the Australian Tax Office (ATO) can be pretty understanding. Have a chat to them and see what you can work out.
ATO Assistant Commissioner, Graham Whyte, recommends letting the ATO know about any struggles: “If you’re worried that you might not be able to meet the deadline, it’s important to that you give us a call on 13 28 61 and let us know about your circumstances,” he said.
3. I probably owe the tax man a lot of money.
Mr Whyte said it is “important to remember to lodge on time, even if you can’t pay by the due date”.
If you’re on the correct tax code, things should work out fairly correctly for you. In fact, 77 per cent of Australians get a tax refund.[i]
If you’re really scared about this, have a chat to your employer or the ATO to see how this can be best worked out to minimise the hit to your wallet. The ATO have a handy calculator to help with this.
4. I can’t afford to pay my tax right now, so I will delay my return.
This will unfortunately only make things worse and you’re likely to rake up fines the longer you leave things. Mr Whyte advises to call the ATO office to discuss your circumstances or enter a payment plan online. “While most people do pay on time, we understand that sometimes people run into short term difficulties and may not always be able to pay their tax in full by the due date. If you ever find yourself in this position, we encourage you to contact us as early as possible to work something out,” he said.
5. I can’t handle the stress of completing my tax returns right now.
It’s much more stressful leaving this uncompleted. Your finances – and therefore your tax return – need to be a priority. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get. Set aside some time to action this and you’ll feel all the better afterwards.
6. I can’t do my own tax returns.
It’s easier than you think doing it online and the ATO can help you out.
Mr Whyte had some good advice for this, he said: “Our big tip is that if you wait until mid-August, almost all your information will be pre-filled for you so if you’re lodging online, this will help you avoid any potential errors. If you’re using myTax, all you have to do is double-check that your pre-filled information is correct, input any deductions and submit.”
7. I’m already two years late, it doesn’t matter if I miss the October deadline.
Getting your tax in on time does make a big difference to how the tax department views you, to fines and penalties and to refund payments. The ATO has a lot of information on you – don’t you want to have a nice clean record?
Ms Enright commented, “The only time to put your tax sins behind you, and turn over a new financial leaf, is now. I liken it a little to going to the dentist. You put it off thinking it will be painful but you always walk out feel sparkly and wondering what you were worried about. Diarise time to do it, make a plan for dealing with your expected outcome and seek help from the experts should you need it.”
For more information on the virtual financial assistant, MoneyBrilliant, head to: https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/
Laura Douglas firstname.lastname@example.org / 02 9492 1002 / 0452 505 859
About MoneyBrilliant https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/
Designed with women in mind, MoneyBrilliant understand and really care about the financial wellbeing of the women (and men). They are dedicated to helping you get on top of your finances so you can grow and live well, without sacrificing all the things that make life great.
MoneyBrilliant's founder, Peter Lord started MoneyBrilliant to help women like his mum, nan and sister who experienced real financial hardship. He was joined by Jemma Enright, now CEO, and an ever growing team of passionate individuals that are devoted to making a difference by helping Australians get ahead with their finances and feel confident in the future.
MoneyBrilliant looks for ways to support Australians financial wellbeing. They want to give you what you need to clearly see where your money is going and get to know your spending style, so you can make smarter financial decisions.