Tax is confusing enough without even considering the complicated deadlines you are required to comply with. This is the tax myth busting and fact guide you’ve been waiting for - to get on top of the deadlines and ultimately help you avoid any late penalty fees.
Myth 1: Everyone is required to lodge their income tax by 31 October
Airtax says - true but, with some exceptions...
Most Australian taxpayers have followed the ATO lodgement deadline of 31 October. However, if you’re lodging your tax return through a tax agent, for example Airtax, it is possible that the ATO may grant you an extension on your tax return date.
This extension is generally until May of the following year but only if you use an accountant who is registered with Tax Practitioner's Board, before 31 October. Good news, Airtax is a registered tax agent, so if you are already an Airtax user, you may benefit from the extended deadline.
Myth 2: Qualifying for an extension to lodge and pay is challenging
Airtax says - false!
It’s actually quite simple if you know the key dates. All you need to do is be registered with a Tax Practitioner's Board tax agent prior to 31 October. It’s also favourable to have a good lodgement history - something the ATO will look at when assessing your eligibility for an extension.
If you’ve met the 31 October deadline to be registered with a registered tax agent and all else is in order, you should be sorted.
This is really handy for those taxpayers who owe tax - generally sole traders - to give them time to save up to pay back the ATO.
Read more about being granted an extension to lodge and pay tax liabilities.
Haven’t lodged your 2016-17 return and not sure if you’ve qualify for an extension? Find out if you’ve been registered with Airtax by emailing email@example.com
Myth 3: If I hide under a rock, the tax office won’t come after me
Airtax says - false!
You might think you can get away with not lodging a number of income tax returns, and that if you don’t bring attention to yourself the ATO will ignore you, but unfortunately this is not quite true.
The ATO does follow up people who have outstanding tax returns so it is important that you lodge all late returns as soon as possible, even if you think you might struggle to make payment of the debt right away.
If you are concerned about paying your tax bill, you can contact the ATO to potentially organise a payment arrangement giving you more time to pay the debt in instalments.
See all the detail of tax lodgement deadlines on the ATO’s website.