"Lodging returns with incorrect or incomplete information will delay processing as we need to stop these returns to verify the details," the ATO indicated, while listing the most common occurrences of misinformation and mistakes:
- Incorrect client details
- Lodging duplicate returns
- Repeating information
- Omitting income or information
Incorrect details such as name, address, date of birth, bank account details and tax file number are the most common instance of misinformation, with the ATO stressing the need for tax professionals to confirm with their clients and make use of the portal to double check all information.
"If your clients have changed their name, you must update it with us and supply the relevant evidence before you lodge their returns," the ATO said.
"Ensure that the details in your software are correct before lodging, particularly if you transpose details from previous year returns."
Another common thorn in the side of the Tax Office has proved to be duplicate return lodgements, with many tax professionals and taxpayers forgoing the ability to make amendments to previously lodgements.
"If your client has already lodged their return and needs to correct a mistake, you must request an amendment," the ATO said.
"Use the lodgement status reports on the portal to view lodgement details for your clients. This will help you identify whether to lodge an original return or an amendment."
The ATO also provided some handy hints in terms of tracking down omitted income and information from clients in order to achieve a successful and correct lodgement.
"Income, income test questions, spouse details and private health insurance information are commonly missing or incomplete. Make sure your clients provide all necessary information to enable you to lodge accurate tax returns," the ATO said.
"If your clients want to lodge before all pre-filling information is available, ask them for details of income from multiple jobs, foreign income, bank interest and government payments they received."