If you work in Australia, then you will need to lodge a tax return with the ATO on an annual basis. This is a way to declare any income you have received in a given tax year; which runs from the 1st July - 30th June each year. Essentially, it’s to make sure you have paid the right amount of tax based on your earnings and expenditure.

There is a range of ways you can lodge a tax return in Australia; in this post, we outline the different options that are available and any deadlines that you need to be aware of.

First, you need to decide who is going to lodge your return. This is straightforward; you can either use a qualified tax agent, or you can do it yourself.

Using a Tax Agent

You are able to use a registered Tax Agent in Australia to help you prepare and submit your tax return. They will charge a fee, and the amount is dependant on whom you choose. You will need to prepare and organise the information to pass on to your tax agent. There is a free tool offered by the ATO to help you; this is called the myDeductions records tool, and it helps you to keep track of your expenses, deductions, and income.

If you need help deciding how to choose the right Tax agent, this article on the Tax Practitioners Boards website can help.

The deadline for Tax agents is different to if you were lodging your own tax return online. Regardless of whom you choose, you will need to inform them before the 31st of October in order to have them submit a return on your behalf.

Doing a Tax Return Yourself

If you decide to do a tax return yourself, you can do this for free using the ATO’s tool, called MyTax. If you decide to do this, then your deadline is 31st October.

The system is available 24/7, and it is safe and secure. By the middle of August, the majority of information, from employers, banks, health funds, government agencies, and other third parties will be in place already; saving you time and hassle.

It is a quick way to get a tax refund, with the majority being issues within two weeks of being submitted. Once the claim has been completed, you are emailed an instant receipt that confirms the data you sent has been received. As an added bonus, you will also get a detailed overview of your estimated tax rebate.

Use the Taxbot Service

Creating in Melbourne, Taxbot is a revolutionary way to get your taxes done easily using a chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Taxbot is classified as a registered tax agent and is a fully registered company in Australia. Not only have they turned what is considered to be a boring, time-consuming process into something that is fun. They make the entire tax return process quick and easy.

No forms, no websites, and no appointments. All you need to get started is your Tax Reference Number and your personal bank account details. Your tax return can be done with Taxbot in a matter of just five minutes. Best of all, it’s completely free to use.

Paper Tax Returns

It is still possible to lodge your tax return via the post using a paper application. If you want to do this, you will need to follow the individual tax return instructions. Paper tax returns can take up to 50 days to be processed and refunds issued.