The End of Tax Returns?

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Blog

The End of Tax Returns?

For many, tax returns can be a nuisance, a chore, tiresome or just plain frustrating.  Working in the field of financial management, I understand that more than anyone as I see the troubles it can bring to those who find it tedious or difficult.

Well what if I told you that filing your end of year tax return could be a thing of the past.  You heard me right!  The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been developing their technology behind the scenes that will generate tax returns for those with relatively simple tax affairs.  It will receive the routine information such as salary and wage income, bank interest, shares and dividends and then would send the tax return to the individual to approve.  This will replace the task of having to prepare and lodge a return each year.

The ATO estimates that this could essentially assist approximately 1.4 million people next year and with some work, could be rolled out to 4.5 million taxpayers Australia wide.  Unfortunately due to the complexity of many tax returns, it would not be suitable for all taxpayers.

Australia would not be the first country to offer this but they would be following in the footsteps of Denmark and Norway who send nearly ¾ of their tax returns to taxpayers.

Statistics show that the majority of Australians go to a tax agent to lodge their tax return – approximately 12.6 million people in the 2010/2011 tax year to be more precise.  Whatever their reason to do so, a “push” tax return like this might essentially simplify the tax processing task.

Do you like the idea of the ATO sending your finalised tax return to you for approval?