Navigating the tax system

FOR many Tasmanians, navigating the process of submitting individual tax returns can be quite overwhelming.

To get Tassie started on lodging their tax returns, H&R Block state manager Steve Hinton has provided his “must visit” list of tax resources.

 

Australian Taxation Office (ATO):

By far the most comprehensive source of tax information is the ATO website – if you don’t have a tax agent, this should be your first point of reference for anything tax-related.

The site contains comprehensive guides and easy-to-follow videos relating to almost all aspects of tax law. There is also a series of calculators and tools available to help you work out what you owe.

New for 2016 is the “Ask Alex” tool, a little virtual assistant who pops up in the corner of the screen to answer a wide range of general tax queries.

 

Talk to your tax agent:

More than 70 per cent of Australians use the services of an accountant and/or tax agent. This is with good reason as tax is complicated and you may need an expert to help you get it right.

If you fail to comply with your obligations, you can land yourself with stiff fines and interest on any unpaid tax. A tax agent can make sure you claim all the deductions you’re entitled to, meaning you get the best possible refund, as well as ensuring you lodge your return accurately and on time.

If you don’t already have an accountant, H&R Block can help you navigate the tax system and, with statewide offices, there should be an office located near you.

You can also use the Tax Practitioner Board website to find a tax agent close to where you live. You should always make sure that your tax agent is registered with the board and meets all the current standards.

myGov:

If you don’t already have a myGov account, you could get one. A secure myGov account lets you link and access a range of Australian Government services with one username and password, at one online destination.

If you intend to lodge your return using the ATO’s online service “myTax”, you’ll need a myGov account first.

H&R Block also has a suite of online services that can help with preparing and lodging your return.

For more information about H&R Block services, phone 13 23 25 or go to hrblock.com.au.