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Taxes… No one likes filing taxes and no one especially likes trying to figure out how to file taxes whilst living abroad in a new country. I was once like you and was getting stressed at the thought of filing taxes here in Australia until I went online and did some research and figured out that filing taxes in Australia is actually very easy!
Now with the end of October looming and it being the last chance for you to lodge your tax return, I thought I would write a post on how to file your taxes here in Australia.
Do you need to file taxes in Australia?
You may not need to file taxes in Australia so before you go getting yourself worked up and for lack of a better word stressed out cho mofo mind about it. Use this Do I Need to Lodge a Tax Return Tool to find out. Unlike the USA, filing taxes in Australia a whole hell of a lot simpler and easier when you can do it online.
Filing your Tax Return
Okay so we have used the nifty tool from above and we have found out that we DO need to file taxes in Australia.
Now there are 3 ways you can do this:
- Lodge online (easiest and fastest in my opinion)
- Lodge via paper form
- Lodge through Registered Tax Agent
I am only familiar with lodging my tax return online so I will be focusing on how to lodge your tax online via myTax. If you would like more info about options 2 and 3 please visit the ATO website.
Lodging your Tax Return through myTax
First things first, if you do not have a Tax File Number (TFN) this post might not be the best for you and you should really consider getting a TFN since it links all your data and in the end makes it a hell of a lot easier to file taxes. You will also need a form of ID such as passport, driver’s license or birth certificate when lodging online.
I also advise having your group certificate/payment summary (the document given to you by your employer showing how much your money you made and how much tax was taken out) nearby when you are filling out your tax return to make sure that the numbers online are correct.
If you do have a TFN (yay go you!) and if you haven’t already, you will need to go set up a myGov account before you can file your tax return online through myTax.
Once you have set up your myGov account, you will need to make sure you myGov account is linked to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If you not sure how to link your myGov to the ATO, here is a quick tutorial on how to link the ATO to your myGov account.
Ok sweet it looks like we are doing good so far. Onto the next part, which is clicking the link to take you to the ATO website.
Here is how to do this just click on the ATO picture down at the bottom of your myGov account or click into services and click Australian Taxation Office. Both of these will take you to where you want to go.
Once you click on the ATO it should automatically log you in and from there you will need to click Tax-> Income Tax -> Lodge Return
Once you click Lodge Return you will be taken to myTax where you will go through the process of filling out your tax return and answering questions regarding life, family and work.
Some of these questions may or may not apply to you, but if you are unsure the myTax is loaded with helpful links to help you figure out what is best for you. Also by having a TFN and having it connected to your employer most of your information should be already be pre-filled in your online tax return (Yay less work for you!).
Lodging your tax return online makes it not only faster to lodge but you also get your tax refund quick too! It only took me about 2 weeks to get my tax rebate. If you are still unsure about lodging online check out these videos from the ATO website to see if lodging online is the best thing for you.