Why you shouldn't lodge your tax return before July 15
Over the next few months millions of Australians will be rushing to lodge their tax returns in the hope of a generous refund cheque.
Whether you intend to use a tax agent or to lodge yourself through the myTax system, here are a couple of key tips to bear in mind.
Take extra care that your return is right if you intend to lodge early. Many people lodge their return during the first weeks of July to get a refund as soon as possible.
By doing that, though, you expose yourself to a real danger of missing crucial information.
These days, the ATO receives a wide range of information from third parties such as employers, banks and private health providers, which can be pre-filled on your tax return.
However, much of that information isn't provided to the ATO - and hence to you - until well into July and, in some cases, August. So, if you are an early lodger, the information downloaded from the ATO may be incomplete.
Check it carefully and ensure you have your own income information to hand, because if you lodge a return with incomplete information, you will get a "please explain" from the tax office.
Remember, the burden of getting a return right falls on you.
It takes the ATO up to two weeks to process a tax return and issue a refund.
There's no point chasing the ATO (or your tax agent!) for your refund until that two-week period has passed.