It’s Tax time! These words can make our hearts sink; even make us feel and become sick! If your tax return is anything like ‘oure’ [partner and me], then it doesn’t bear thinking about! That is what I used to feel, dread and procrastinate about until a few years ago: ATO [Australia] began tax online. At first the online form kept crashing because my computer was not compatible; or their program was not working correctly. Over the past few years now I have mastered this art; it is an art but is very very easy on the brain. Through this format I have handled business income, negative gearing; and two CTG events [Capital gains].
Throughout the process I found that when I got stuck I had one amazing helpful way to sort things out: get the question simplified, i.e. ‘Where do I enter Insurance for an investment when I did not make or do any other trading?’ I went straight to the horses’ mouth/s: the tax office. I tell you, these guys and gals are nothing short of fabulous and if they cannot help you, they will put you on to another area of expertise. Instead of pulling my hair out and trying all sorts of actions to get my point across, I give the tax office a ring [make sure you ring the right number: found on the internet or on forms published by their department]. This will save your blood pressure and maybe your marriage if you take this advice.
I found the forms so wonderful because you are taken on the tax journey automatically, following the prompts, arrows, next page, answering either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Also, I usually order the appropriate forms as well, to back up any knowledge base I need for the circumstances of the tax matter. ATO publish books on all sorts of topics, including Rental Properties, Capital Gains Tax for the appropriate year. In these booklets you can find handy topics for depreciation, best ways to handle capital gains and everything else relating to your situation. If the situation is not covered, and I have found a few uncovered topics during the year, you can ring the appropriate department and ‘bob’s your uncle,’ the problem is resolved. This has been my experience.
The big bonus of doing tax in an online form: you get your return within a week [my experience]; great for more shopping or other plans to use the funds. If you have a debt to pay, the ATO send you an information cheque [debit amount], and a time frame to pay it. So far I have had to do both things. Another clue about doing your tax when you have a CTG to handle and money to hand over, send in the form as late as possible: they even gave us an extra 30 days last year, this makes the payment less painful!
Hope you enjoyed this and gained some insights into taxation online in Australia. It is truly a remarkable and ‘not so bad’ experience.