Suitable for: Everyone
Tax Difficulty: Easy
Airtax Experience: First-time users
Time to read: 4-5 minutes
In order to achieve our goal of making tax simpler for everyone, Airtax has developed a connection with the ATO to prefill some of your data for the financial year into your tax return at the click of a button - leaving you with less to complete yourself, and a more accurate lodgement.
What is it?
Each financial year the ATO is supplied with an assortment of data from a number of sources, including your employer, financial institutions that you bank with, as well as any insurer you may have a policy with - which is necessary for the preparation of your tax return. Where you may normally receive this information from each source individually, Airtax’s direct integration with the ATO is now able to connect you to your centralised data as soon as you start a tax return with us.
How can it help me complete my tax return?
The Airtax-ATO connection is designed to reduce the hassle associated with collecting all of your tax information every financial year, at the same time as increasing your lodgement accuracy. This could save you having to manually complete the following fields:
- Basic personal details, including your address
- Gross payments received from any employment
- Total tax withheld throughout the year from any employer
- Superannuation contributions made by an employer
- Fringe benefits paid by any employer
- Your employer’s name and ABN
- Your private health insurance policy details
- Medicare levy surcharge
- Any interest/dividends earned through the year
How do I connect my Airtax account to the ATO?
When you start an Airtax Tax Return, our system will use the personal information you listed on signup (TFN, name, date of birth) to add you to our Tax Agent Number with the ATO. It’s really important that the information you have listed on your Airtax profile is correct, and matches the information that the ATO has of you - as the connection will not work if there is any mismatch.
If you need to update your personal information listed on Airtax, you can do so through your account settings here https://airtax.com.au/users/edit
Unsure what your ATO details are?
You can check your personal information according to ATO records by signing in to your myGov account. If your details are not correct, you can find information on how to amend your personal information here.
Once you’ve checked to make sure your details exactly match ATO records, you can navigate to your Airtax dashboard and start the tax return you need to complete. It may take a couple of minutes for the connection to be finalised and for your information to prefill (see image below).
When is the ATO data available?
Given the number of sources that the ATO collects this variety of data from, there may be some delays in your entire prefill report being available for your tax return which is out of Airtax’s control. It is common for this information to be made available progressively from July 1 each year.
For example, private health insurance companies have a deadline of around August 2019 to release information to the ATO relating to insurance policies of their customers. If you start a tax return with Airtax and notice that some information is not prefilled, when you believe it should be, it is likely that this information hasn’t yet been made available to the ATO.
The Airtax ATO prefill is only able to be performed once per tax return, so if you need to refresh/update the prefilled information after already starting your tax return, you will need to contact our friendly support team at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a manual update.
If you want to be sure of having the full ATO prefill available at the time you come to work on your Airtax tax return, you should endeavour to start your tax return sometime in early August - to allow some extra time for the ATO to receive all of your information.
What if the ATO connection fails when I start my tax return?
There are a few things you can do if you ever receive an error message when you start your tax return:
- Check your personal details listed on Airtax to ensure they exactly match your ATO details.
- Sometimes the connection process can be slowed when many users are trying to access it. Consider coming back and trying again in 24-48 hours, and see whether the same error occurs.
- If after trying the above the same error is occurring, you can email our friendly Australian-based support team at email@example.com
- You can always start without the prefill and proceed manually completing your tax return. Please be aware, however, that if you intend to use the prefill function later, your tax return would need to be deleted and restarted - so any manually completed information will be lost.
It looks like all my ATO information has been prefilled, now what?
Awesome! You’ve made a big step towards finalising your tax return.
All you need to do now is to review the prefilled information, make sure it’s correct, and apply any necessary amendments or additions.
If you have any questions about your pre filled information, or about any other aspect of your tax return, you can book a Tax Assist call and speak with a qualified PwC tax accountant about your lodgement. Feedback from our users suggests that this service is a great way to get peace of mind knowing that you’re lodging correctly, and can help you find any deductions you may not have known you could claim. You can read more about Tax Assist and how it can help you, here.
“I find it’s a great service that does all the hard work for you and gives you an intuitive interface to input your expenses. What more could you want!” - Ryan F., Airtax user
What you’ve learned:
- How you can have your centralised tax information ready when you come to do your Airtax tax return
- What sort of information is available through the ATO integration
- How to connect your Airtax account to the ATO
- When the prefill is available, and how to diagnose and troubleshoot any connection issues
- What to do once your tax return is prefiled