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You might have seen or heard warnings in the media recently regarding early tax return lodgement. This year there are some added complexities in lodging early tax returns with a couple of key factors to be aware of.


Firstly, Parliament will need to pass the previously announced increase in the low and middle income offset which applies for the 2019 income year. This stipulates that eligible taxpayers can receive up to an extra refund of $530 for singles or $1,080 for a couple. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) cannot process these higher refund amounts within tax returns until the new law is passed. Of course the ATO has said it can automatically amend a return if the law does change after a taxpayer receives their annual assessment, however this could take an unspecified amount of time where the money sits with the ATO rather than in the taxpayer’s pocket.


Secondly, Single Touch Payroll (STP) is now in operation, with some employers no longer needing to provide a payment summary to employees as this information can now be accessed via myGov. There is a belief that the information available in early July may not be entirely accurate until the employer completes a finalisation process. Until this happens, employment income could show the notation of ”tax not ready”, meaning it is incomplete.


These above factors, coupled with other third party data such as interest, share disposals, dividends etc. being progressively uploaded into the ATO systems during the month of July, all point to the strong suggestion that taxpayers should rethink lodging their tax returns early this year.


Even though lodgement may need to be slightly delayed this year, we still encourage you to send in your tax information as soon as possible so that we can process this and have it ready to go when lodgement is appropriate.


Further questions?

If you have any questions around your lodgement date or tax return preparations, please contact your Pilot advisor on 07 3023 1300.