MY MONEY

Why it just got easier to access the ATO online

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The Australian Tax Office (ATO) took some stiff criticism recently from taxpayers for the unreliability of its computer systems around the start of the tax year as many Australians had difficulty lodging their tax returns using the myTax online system.

Those problems now seem fixed and along the way the ATO has made significant improvements to the quality and quantity of services online.

If, like at least 6 million Australians, you have a myGov account, you'll now start to receive most items of correspondence from the ATO electronically into your myGov inbox rather than as paper items through the post.

ATO online

Most significantly, your notice of assessment will be delivered electronically when you submit your tax return, as will statements of account, confirmation and reminder notices and activity statement or instalment notices (if you're in business).

So, if you've lodged your return and are wondering why nothing has arrived in the post, check your myGov inbox.

You can update online your personal information such as contact details and financial institution details, which are essential for returns.

If you owe the ATO any tax, you can also make your payments online and, if you need time to pay, you can arrange payment plans.

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Mark Chapman is director of tax communications at H&R Block, Australia's largest firm of tax accountants, and is a regular contributor to Money. Mark is the author of Life and Taxes: A Look at Life Through Tax.
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