ATO stats reveal who’s lodging this tax time. The ATO says that Tax Time is off to a flying start with over 3.8 million people lodging their tax returns so far, and 1.4 million of those lodging their own tax return online with myTax.
Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte says myTax has revolutionised the way Australians who prepare their own tax return lodge by making it quicker and easier.
“If people choose to lodge their own tax return, we want myTax to make the experience as stress-free as possible and we are getting great feedback,” he says. Whyte says that 86% of myTax lodgers so far this year have said they are satisfied or very satisfied with the experience.
“This positive feedback is reflected through our lodgment stats; on 25 July we reached one million myTax lodgments. It’s the fastest we have ever reached one million online lodgments and is around one third of the self-prepared tax returns we expect to receive this tax time,” he says.
Whyte says myTax had been expanded in 2016 and has now completely replaced the old lodgment tool, e-tax. “Unlike e-tax, which could only be used on a PC, myTax lets you do your tax on any computer, smartphone or tablet.
“We’ve already noticed some interesting stats with myTax users this year. The average age of a myTax lodger is 35. The oldest myTax lodger so far was 105 years old, which shows you it’s never too late to get online.”
Whyte says around 52% of myTax users are female, and New South Wales and Queensland are neck and neck for the most lodgments.
“The busiest day of myTax lodgment so far was Monday, 18 July with 59,000 lodgments. This is around the time most people receive their payment summaries. We usually see a spike in mid-July each year.”
Whyte says the ATO is also pushing harder to get refunds to people, with an average processing time of seven days. “If you’ve already lodged, you can easily keep track of the progress of your tax return via our online services. The tool has already been used 2.5 million times this tax time,” Whyte says.
“For people who haven’t lodged yet, we have received most of the data from employers, banks, government agencies and other third parties we need to pre-fill your tax return. It’s the earliest we’ve ever received this information.”
“We’ve now got over 80% of interest and dividend data, the majority of private health insurance details and 13.4 million payment summaries from around 328,000 employers,” he says.
Thirty-five per cent of people using myTax are completing their tax return in 15 minutes or less, showing that the lodgment experience doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think.
“Tax time isn’t all about myTax though, and we know most people choose to go to a tax agent. If you use a tax agent, they also have access to all your pre-fill data,” Whyte says. “It is important to make sure your tax agent is registered. Only a registered tax agent can charge a fee for doing your tax return.”
“If you are using a tax agent for the first time, or are planning to use a different agent this tax time, you also need to let them know by 31 October.”
Whyte says regardless of whether you use a tax agent or lodge your own return, you can use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app, which allows you to snap, save and store your individual income tax deductions all in one place.
“This will also help make tax time easier without you having to wade through a box of receipts. The best part is, whether you lodge yourself or with a tax agent, at the end of the financial year you can upload your completed deductions from your device to the ATO to fill in your tax return,” Whyte says.
“We are seeing 1,000 uploads a day from people who used myDeductions to record their work-related expenses for this tax return. Start using it now to make next tax time less stressful.”