The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has announced its key focus areas for tax time in the coming months. The focus will include landlords and people who work from home.
Tax returns will have to be lodged by Australians from July to October this year. It’ll cover income earned during the 2022/23 financial year.
What’s a tax return?
A tax return is a form filled out by individuals and businesses. It tells the ATO how much tax they’ve paid during the financial year, and if they’re claiming any tax deductions.
The Government will provide a refund to anyone who’s paid more tax than they needed to.
Tax returns must be lodged by Australian residents who earned more than the tax-free threshold ($18,200) in the 2022/23 financial year. This is from July 2022 to June 2023.
The warning for tax time
The ATO has issued a warning for three focus areas that are of consistent mistakes in tax returns.
The first area is rental properties. The ATO says they’ll closely inspect deductions made by landlords, who they say are often leaving out rental income from their returns or over-claiming property-related expenses.
The second is those working from home. People who work from home have been warned not to ‘copy-and-paste’ records from the previous financial year into this year’s tax return.
This is because many people are working in the office compared to the previous couple of years.
The third area is capital gains tax. Capital gains taxes are paid after an asset is sold for a profit, such as a property or shares.
“Don’t fall into the trap of thinking we won’t notice if you sell an asset for a gain and don’t declare it,” ATO Assistant Commissioner Tim Loh said.
When’s your tax return due?
The ATO will start accepting tax returns on 1 July, the first day of the new financial year. Tax returns can be able to be lodged until the end of October.
This can be done online through the ATO’s myTax portal or can be lodged by mail through a paper tax return. Any individual can fill out their own tax return, but it can also be prepared and lodged by a registered tax agent.