THE PAPER TRAIL: 5 things to expect when lodging your tax return this year

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July 1 can be a daunting or confusing time as the process of lodging a tax return rears its head again.

Last year the ATO introduced a new online lodgement product called myTax which streamlines the online tax return for people with straightforward tax affairs.

“Our research tells us one of the biggest barriers for people doing their own tax return is the fear of making a mistake,” said Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte.

“The feedback we received last year was that people found myTax a much less complex and time-consuming.”

Available on desktop, tablet or smartphone, the myTax application only asks questions relevant to the person lodging and automatically includes information provided by employers, banks and government.

However, this year people with income, tax offsets or deductions from superannuation pensions, lump sum payments, managed investment funds and foreign pensions will also be able to lodge using myTax.

According to the ATO here’s a list of the changes you can expect this tax time.

1. If you lodge online you will receive correspondence immediately to your myGov inbox.

For the first time this year, people who lodge electronically will receive their notice of assessment and tax receipt straight to their myGov inbox.

2. If you’re not lodging, there is a non-lodgement form available online.

If you don’t need to lodge a tax return this year, you can submit a new online non-lodgement advice form, or an online refund of franking credits form.

3. There is no longer a mature-aged worker tax offset.

The mature-aged worker tax offset has been removed, which means it cannot be claimed on a 2015 tax return.

4. You can’t claim the net medical expenses tax offset unless you received it last year.

Only people who received the net medical expenses tax offset in their 2013-14 tax return are eligible to claim the offset this year. However, people with out-of-pocket medical expenses related to disability aids, attendant care or aged care are still able to claim them.

5. Using the app you can now keep everything in one place to save time next year.

The ATO App will soon have a new deductions feature, where you can capture your work-related receipts, to help you with your record-keeping for tax time 2016 and pre-populate into your tax return next year.

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