ATO assistant commissioner Graham Whyte said that over the past few years, the ATO has focused on expanding and improving its online services.
“We are lucky in Australia that when it comes to tax, the vast majority of people want to do the right thing. We also know that the easier we make it for people to lodge their tax return and manage their affairs, the more likely they are to get it right the first time,” Mr Whyte said.
“We are constantly working to provide modern products and services that fit into the way Australians live their everyday lives.”
Mr Whyte said one of the biggest changes this year for people who prepare their own tax returns is the complete replacement of the ATO legacy online lodgement tool e-tax with myTax.
“MyTax has been expanded to do everything that e-tax could and more. It is the quick, easy, and secure way to lodge, and lets you do your tax on your computer, smartphone or tablet. Over 500,000 people have already used myTax this tax time.
Mr Whyte said this year, for the first time ever, the ATO will be able to check people’s deductions in real time as they complete their online return using myTax.
“We want people to claim what they are entitled to – no more, no less. If your claims are substantially higher than others in similar occupations, earning similar amounts of income, a message will appear asking you to check them.”
The ATO is advising people planning to use myTax to hold off until August, when the new system will have received most of the data it needs from employers, banks, government agencies and other third parties to pre-fill tax returns.
“For many people, this means all they have to do is double-check the information we have pre-loaded for them, enter any deductions they have and then hit submit,” Mr Whyte said.
He added that 96 per cent of people who make mistakes when declaring their income lodge before their pre-fill information is available.