Kickstart your 2020 tax return online in under 5 minutes

  1. How to register online
  2. Listing your deductions
  3. The review process
  4. Lodging with the ATO
  5. Receiving your refund

As tax time fast approaches, the thought of lodging your return can produce mixed emotions.

You want that refund as soon as possible butmay dread the task of rummaging through receipts in order to see that cash backin your account.  

The good news in 2020 is that lodging your taxreturn has never been more convenient nor faster than it is today.

The ability to lodge online means anaccountant can be processing your return within hours of you providing basicdetails on your mobile phone or desktop.

The Fee From Refund solution also means thereare zero out of pocket expenses for eligible clients who are in a refundposition.

Here’s how to get the ball rolling in under five minutes from the comfort of your own home.

1. Provide your basic details

Long gone are the days of in-person tax return appointments

When lodging your tax online, you will need tocomplete a form which asks for some basic information including your full name, email address and phone number.

So far, so easy right?

That form will also ask for your Tax File Number (TFN) which allows the accountant handling your return to access all ofyour relevant information.

“A Tax File Number is the key which unlocks everything,” says eTeam Tax director Ross Morello. 

“Employees no longer receive a group certificate or payment summary. That information is now submitted by your employer using the Single Touch Payroll system. Your TFN allows the accountant to access all of that information on your behalf.”

Finding your TFN is easier than you might think – here’s where to cite yours:  

●     A previous year’s tax return

●     Your payslip may contain your TFN

●     A PAYG payment summary (issued byyour employer)

●     A previous year’s Notice of Assessment (issued by the ATO)

●     Ask your employer (they shouldhave your TFN on file)

●     Your superannuation memberstatement

For those using the eTeam Tax service, a qualified accountant and certified tax agent will receive your form and contact you within 12 hours to let you know the next step. 

2. Providing a list of deductions

Depending on how you prefer to be contacted, eTeam Tax will be in touch via phone or email to request a list of the deductions you intend to claim. 

“We will provide a handy list of the more common deductions most employees may incur as well as those which are specificto your industry,” says Mr Morello, who advises photographing receipts throughout the year and saving them into a digital folder.

Deductions can be provided over the phone or via email, based on the records you have kept as well as receipts forwork-related purchases you have made.

“Our agents understand what is likely to raise a red flag with the Australian Tax Office so we will follow up on any deductions that appear out of the ordinary.”

Mr Morello encourages those using the eTeam Tax Service to lean on the expertise of the accountant handling your return.

“Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to,” he says. “Our tax agents are here to help and guide you through the process to get you the best result.”

In cases where complete and accurate deductions are provided upon that first request, eTeam Tax can complete thedeductions phase within 24 hours.  

3. A senior accountant review

Although lodging a tax return online is quick and easy, that doesn’t mean the standard is being compromised.

Once all of your essential information anddeductions have been provided, an accountant is then able to review yourinformation and request more if necessary.

“We will identify if anything is missing, particularly in relation to your industry,” Mr Morello says.

“For example, an electrician will usually incur an annual licence fee. If we see that’s not been provided, we’ll follow up with you to make sure you don’t miss out on claiming that amount.”

Under the eTeam Tax process, a senior accountant will then review each claim before it is returned to you for an electronic signature, which can be done on your mobile phone.

“We have a detailed review process in place tomake sure every return meets our internal standards and those of the ATO,” saysMr Morello.

4. Lodge with the ATO  

Your completed and signed tax return is thenlodged with the ATO who takes up to 14 business days to review and process your return.

5. A refund is released

All done from the comfort of your own home

Once the ATO has processed your return, any refund owing will be released - yes, pay day!

For those who have elected Fee From Refund, a fee will be deducted before the remainder of the refund is deposited into your nominated banking account within three business days.  

If there’s a tax bill to be paid, the ATO will issue a Notice of Assessment with a specified payment date, which varies according to when you lodged your return. 

When it comes tol odging your tax return in 2020, workers will need to wait until your final payrun for the 2019-2020 tax year has been submitted by your employer and finalised.

Employers with less than 19 employees have until July 31 to submit all wage information while those with 20 or more employees must finalise by July 14.

Learn more about why thousands of Australians use eTeam Tax's Online Tax Return service

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All information provided on this webpage is general information and may not meet your needs. While every effort is made to maintain and update this article where necessary, you should confirm that the information is current and relevant to your needs first. If you have any questions or want personalised tax advice, please get in contact with us.

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