Those rushing to receive a quick refund could cop a shock for being too quick…

Red light for taxpayers rushing to receive a quick refund, who could cop a shock for being too quick

July 9, 2017 5:06pm

Anthony KeaneNews Corp Australia Network

THERE has been a big jump in the number of Australians rushing to grab a fast tax refund, but there’s a potential sting.

Tax specialists warn that being quick off the mark can result in costly errors because Australian Taxation Office technology is likely to spot undeclared income.

Annual payment summaries from employers are not due until July 14, while the ATO’s pre-filled data such as bank interest and share dividends may not appear on electronic returns until mid-August.

RELATED: How to claim money working from home

ATO figures obtained by News Corp Australia show that about 300,000 individuals and tax agents lodged electronic returns in the first week of July, up 20 per cent on last year.

“More than 20 per cent of lodgements have been via a mobile device,” ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said.

Ms Anderson said the ATO contacted about 350,000 people each year about errors in their tax returns.

ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said many tax lodgements last week were on mobile devices.

“One of the most commons mistakes we see is people forgetting to declare all their income,” she said.

“We know that taxpayers like to get in early and lodge in the first month of tax time, but our analysis shows that if you lodge in July you’re far more likely to make a mistake by leaving out some of your income.”

Ms Anderson said people should remember to include all income including wages, interest and dividends, income from the sharing economy, government payments, income from cash jobs and capital gains.

RELATED: Tax deductions without receipts

Almost four out of five of the nation’s 13 million-plus individual taxpayers receive a tax refund, averaging more than $2500.

Deakin University department of accounting associate professor Adrian Raftery said understating income was the biggest issue at tax time.

Deakin University’s Adrian Raftery said there was nothing worse than owing money you’ve already spent.

“My advice would be to wait unless you are absolutely certain that you have correctly recorded your income in your lodged tax return,” he said.

Dr Raftery said people who had changed jobs should make sure they had all their PAYG payment summaries “otherwise you will get a nasty surprise once the ATO catches up with you”.

“The ATO’s data-matching systems are getting better and better as they add more agencies to their long list of sources. They are aware of share and property sales for capital gains tax purposes.”

Dr Raftery said people who didn’t declare all income and were caught would receive a please explain letter from the ATO “plus and amended assessment down the track, usually with penalties attached”.

“Hopefully you haven’t spent all of the original refund when you have to pay back the shortfall to the taxman. There’s nothing worse than having spent money that isn’t yours and there is knocking at the door asking for it back.”

 

6 Super Superannuation End Of Year Strategies

With June 30 approaching, it’s time to make some smart decisions that could boost your future retirement income – and benefit you financially today.

Build your retirement nest-egg with these six tax-effective EOFY super strategies¹.

1. Get more from your salary or bonus

If you are an employee, have you thought about salary sacrificing? You could sacrifice part of your pre-tax salary or bonus into super – and you could potentially reduce the tax you pay by up to 34%.

2. Make tax deductible super contributions

If you’re self-employed or don’t work, you won’t get super from an employer – but that doesn’t mean you can’t contribute yourself. And if you do, you may be able to claim your contribution as a tax deduction.

This deduction also applies if you’re earning less than 10% of your income² from eligible employment and you contribute to your super.

3. Make after-tax contributions

Do you have an investment in your own name, such as shares, property or a managed fund? If you cash out the investment and put the proceeds into super, you could reduce the tax you pay on your investment earnings by up to 34%.

4. Manage your Capital Gains Tax through super

Does less than 10% of your income² come from eligible employment? If you’re planning on selling an asset this year – say, a property or shares – and you make a capital gain, you might want to consider investing some or all of the sale proceeds into your super.

This way, you may be able to claim some or all of the contribution as a tax deduction to reduce the assessable capital gain and the amount of tax you have to pay.

5. Get the government to chip in

If you earned less than $51,020² this financial year, and at least 10% of that amount was from your job or business, you should think about making an after-tax super contribution. If you do, the government may also chip in up to $500.

6. Boost your partner’s super – and reduce your tax

If your spouse earns under $13,800 per annum, consider making an after-tax contribution into their super account. Not only will they have a bit more cash put away for life after work, but you may receive a generous tax offset of up to $540.

Ask your adviser. Mr Tax Refund works with experienced Financial Services Firm Purple Circle. Call us today on 1300 943 410.

We can help you decide on the strategies that work best for you – so get in touch with us before the financial year ends.

¹ Super strategies should be used in consideration of contributions caps. Penalties may apply if these caps are exceeded.

2 Includes assessable income, reportable fringe benefits and reportable employer super contributions. Other eligibility conditions apply.

 


Is your tax return late? Do you have several tax returns to lodge at once?

Is your tax return late? Do you have several tax returns to lodge at once? Use the simple form here to get started and we’ll do all the hard work for you.

For some of us, lodging a tax return every year can be difficult, and some of us just plain forget, but lodging a tax return annually is the law for most taxpayers in Australia.

The truth is it’s never too late to lodge a tax return. If you haven’t lodged your tax for a few years or you have a return outstanding it’s ok as long as you lodge voluntarily and don’t owe any tax to the ATO. (If you do owe tax then you could be up for penalties interest etc!)

The strange thing is that up to 1.5 million Australians annually don’t lodge a tax return – countless because they mistakenly don’t think they will get a refund. A large volume of our clients had not lodged tax returns for many years and were due sizable refunds. One of our recent clients was pleasantly surprised to hear he was due over $30,000 from 9 years of unlodged returns.

The average tax refund issued last year was $1,800 which would tend to indicate there are literally billions in unclaimed refunds Australians are missing out on simply because they don’t bother to check or don’t know how to check what they are entitled to.

Don’t be one of them. Talk to us about getting your prior year returns in asap – use the form above to get started. Mr Tax Refund specialises in the lodgement of multiple year tax returns. We help people just like you every day. Even if you are many years behind we can look after you. Our low fee structure and maximum refund guarantee ensures that you get the best possible outcome – more cash in your pocket.

But do it now, there is absolutely no reason to wait, and you could be missing out on some serious cash.

Former Nun fined $8,500 for failing to pay tax she says is used ‘to fund wars’

Very interesting story. ATO 1 God 0.

A northern Tasmanian woman who has not filed a tax return since 1996 on “religious grounds” has been fined $8,500 for failing to pay tax.

Key points:

  • Clemencia Barnes has failed to pay tax since 1996 on “religious grounds”
  • In January she was ordered to file tax returns from 2000 to 2010
  • She refused and was fined $850 for each of 10 counts of failing to comply with a court order
  • Ms Barnes says she is prepared to go to jail

Clemencia Barnes of White Hills in northern Tasmania said she objected to paying tax to the Australian Government on religious grounds because her taxes could be used to pay for war or conflict.

In January, Ms Barnes was ordered to file tax returns for the financial years between 2000 and 2010.

She refused and was found guilty on 10 counts of failing to comply with a court order and fined $850 for each count.

In sentencing in the Magistrates Court in Launceston, Magistrate Reg Marron said he had no doubt that Ms Barnes’s religious views were genuinely held, but they did not amount to a defence.

Outside court, Ms Barnes maintained she had the right not to file tax returns.

“Under the law of the constitution I have a right to object to this,” she said.

“It isn’t just me being difficult or thinking I know more than anybody else, it’s my belief that I’m allowed to have belief in God.”

She said she was opposed to armed conflict.

“The time that they actually decided to go to overseas with our young men I wrote to the department and said I can’t let you have my tax so that these young men and women [are] killed in the war on my behalf. I can’t do that,” she said.

“That’s all this is about.

“They send people to war and they get killed on our behalf, if you’re halfway decent you’re going to say that’s not OK.”

Last year Magistrate Marron warned Ms Barnes a custodial sentence was a potential outcome of the case.

“I was anticipating and I would have accepted that if that was going to happen, I would not have questioned that,” she said.

“Basically I don’t actually want to go to jail, believe me, but I will go if I have to.”

The maximum penalty for each count was a fine of $5,500 or 12 months in prison.

The court heard Ms Barnes worked as a mental health counsellor but now received a commonwealth pension.

“If they want to take it off me that’s fine because it isn’t about the pension, it’s about a belief in God and what I need to do,” she said.

She has not decided if she will start lodging tax returns and said she would also have to consider whether she will pay the fine.

Happy 2016! It’s time to get your late tax returns up to date.

Happy 2016!

Have you done your 2015 tax return?

What about 2014, 2013 and earlier?

What about other taxpayers in your family?

The ATO is becoming less and less tolerant of those lodging late returns. It’s becoming a problem for them and today they are more likely to fine for late lodgement that ever.

Mr Tax Refund is open for business and can easily prepare and lodge all of your current and previous year returns quickly and easily over the phone in the comfort of your own home for much less than you think. And most of our clients are pleasantly surprised with unexpected late tax refunds.

This is our 4th year of operations in which time we’ve website registered over 30,000 new Australians and lodged over 20,000 tax returns.

Give us a try today. Go to www.mrtaxrefund.com.au – it only takes a minute.

Happy New Year. Ready for your 2016 Tax Return

Ok so we are a bit early. But we’ve always been ahead of the game! Happy 2016 to all and thank you to our thousands of Mr Tax Refund clients for your patronage and support this year. We are gearing up for a huge 2016 tax return year!

Dragging the chain in getting your tax return lodged last year? Fear not. Mr Tax Refund specialises in late tax returns, so get in touch with us next week. We make the process easy. You could be due a decent refund just in time for the January sales. Maybe you have friends or family with an outstanding tax return? We offer $10 off for all referred tax return work. Just mention it when one of our friendly consultants call.

We are open for business on Monday Jan 11.

Visit www.mrtaxrefund.com.au today.

ATO closure – avoid tax refund delays during Christmas and New Year – get your return done now before the holidays

The tax office will close during the Christmas and New Year period. If you have not done this year’s tax return get in touch with us now to avoid ATO delays and have the best chance to get your refund (if you are due one) before Christmas.

Be quick and you could get hundreds or even thousands in cash to really enjoy your holidays.

We’re waiting to complete your tax return quickly and easily over-the-phone and get you the maximum refund guaranteed.

If you are registered with Mr Tax Refund simply email us attaching your photo ID and your PAYG summaries from your employer(s).

If you are not registered go to the our registration page.

Don’t have your PAYG summaries? That’s ok – we should be able to locate them for you at no charge.

Can’t scan your PAYG summaries? Also ok, you can snap a clear photo of it with your phone and SMS it to 0458 111 333, or fax it to 1800 329 829.

If you can remember it write your 6 digit Client ID on your PAYG summaries or put it in the subject line of the email so we know they belong to you.

Once we receive your PAYG summaries we will call you to arrange your over-the-phone appointment and if you are due a refund do our best to get it to you before Christmas.

Already completed this year’s tax return? That’s fine, just reply to this email and let us know. We will make the required changes to our records.

Enjoy the Holidays – get some cash!

Mr Tax Refund

 

Have You Heard About Our Great Offer?

That’s right! Once your tax return is lodged – we could sent cash to your bank within 1 business day.

GET STARTED

Already signed up? When you have your over-the-phone tax appointment just let your consultant know that you are interested in receiving a tax advance!

Please note: If your tax return is lodged after 3pm WST Monday to Friday, then cash will be sent to your bank the following business day.

Understanding Tricky Vehicle Expense Claims

There are many expenses that are claimed in tax returns that are tricky – one of the most headache-inducing ones being vehicle expenses.

If you have to travel for your job and are experiencing a little difficulty determining what you can and can’t claim as tax deductions, then read on!

Transporting Items

As part of your job, you may find yourself needing to cart your tools to and from work sites or home.

Normally, you aren’t allowed to claim the costs for travelling between work and home – however, you can if you have to transport your heavy and bulky work equipment. You can only do this if you cannot store these items at the workplace.

Transporting Yourself

Those that have more than one job can also claim vehicle expenses for the travel between their two different places of employment.

You are also able to claim the costs of travel if you had to move from site to site at your job – this is a very handy one to remember for construction workers that are working on multiple projects.

Remember that these instances cover the costs of a vehicle that you personally own, hired under a hire-purchase agreement or leased.