Preparing your tax return

A jar containing $100 bills sits on a table next to a calculator, pencil and spreadsheet of finances.

The end of the financial year is fast approaching. Are you on track to lodge your annual tax return?

Filling out a tax return can be time-consuming and complicated. It’s important to keep your tax affairs up to date.  Anglicare’s Financial Counsellors do not provide tax advice, but they can help you fill out your forms.

Check where you stand with the following questions and reach out to us for support if you need it.

 

Q. Should I do a tax return?

Yes, if you:

  • were working previously and/or haven’t done a tax return for a few years
  • have a child support debt
  • are considering applying for bankruptcy, which clears most tax debts. If you think you have a tax debt, getting your tax returns up to date will confirm what you owe so you can list the amount on the bankruptcy form.

It’s a good idea to keep your records up to date and ensure you are not charged a late lodgement fee or fined by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

If your only income was from Centrelink for the whole financial year, you can complete a ”non-lodgement advice”. This will keep your records up to date and avoid fees.

You may be entitled to a refund – it’s surprising the number of people who don’t realise they have some money owed to them from the ATO after they’ve done their tax returns!

 

Q. How do I complete my tax return?

 

Q. What if I’ve lost my payment summaries?

If you have lost your payment summaries from your employers for previous tax years, you can obtain information from the ATO such as payment summaries, Centrelink income and bank interest to assist you in completing tax returns.

If your tax affairs are complex, you can engage a tax agent to complete your tax return for a fee. Fees vary from agent to agent, so it pays to shop around.

 

Q. What if I have a tax debt?
  • You can apply to have more time to pay your tax debts without interest being added. The ATO might not pursue the debt if you can clearly explain your circumstances.
  • If you can show you are in serious financial hardship, you may be able to get a waiver of your tax debt. Your tax returns must be up to date before you apply.
  • You can apply to have more time to pay your tax debts without interest being added.

 

Q. How do I contact an Anglicare financial counsellor for support?

Call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or visit our website at anglicare-tas.org.au/financial-counselling.

 

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