“Tax time is not a race”: Tradies warned to wait to lodge returns

Jarrod Brown
By Jarrod Brown
4 Min Read

As the financial year finally comes to a close, tax agents are warning eager tradies not to jump the gun when lodging their return. 

While most construction companies are looking forward to leaving the admin headache around tax time in the rearview mirror, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) is urging tradies to wait a few more weeks before filing their returns in the hopes of catching costly accounting errors. 

According to ATO Assistant Commissioner Rob Thomson, those that have lodged in the early weeks of July have been twice as likely to make mistakes in their tax in the past. 

“Tax time is not a race,” said Thomson. 

“There is a much higher chance that your return will be missing important information if you lodge in early July. This is particularly relevant if you are receiving income from multiple sources.”

“We see lots of mistakes where people who rush to lodge early have forgotten to include interest from banks, dividend income, payments from government agencies and private health insurance details.”

By waiting until late July, most information from employers, banks, government agencies and health funds will be automatically loaded into your tax return, regardless of whether you use a registered tax agent or lodge your own return.

Business owners will have until July 14 to provide Pay As You Go (PAYG) payment summaries to employees. 

Once all of the information is loaded into the system, contractors will then have until August 28 to lodge their taxable payment annual report, and employers will have until October 31 to lodge their return. 

“We know some prefer to tick their tax return off the to-do list early and not think about it for another 12 months, but the best way to get it right is to wait just a few weeks to lodge,” added Thomson. 

“In the meantime, you can get a head start on your tax obligations by gathering all necessary records, ensuring your details are up to date and reviewing the occupation guides on the ATO website to check you’re claiming what you’re entitled to.”

Get your tax right the first time

To avoid costly revisions and lengthy delays with your tax return, the ATO is urging all taxpayers to make sure all details are correct and up-to-date, including contact details, primary address and bank details. 

Mr Thomson says that once your employer has pre-filled and finalised your information, your income statement can be found in the myTax digital portal marked as ‘tax ready’.

“Once the information we collect is available, all you need to do is check it and add anything that’s missing,” said Thomson.

Taxpayers who do make a mistake on their return can fix errors or omissions once their initial lodgment has been processed through the ATO online amendment process, accessed via myGov or by speaking to their registered tax agent.

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.