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tax return 2020

As 14 million Australians begin pulling together their records for tax time, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is advising people to wait until the end of July 2020 before lodging returns, in order to minimise errors.

Key points:

  • The ATO says people need to take care they have all information needed before lodging returns or they may make a mistake
  • The ideal time to lodge is after the end of July, when most employers and companies have provided the information needed
  • The ATO has a list of items it will closely monitor this year, with unsubstantiated work-related expenses and rental deductions under watch

This year the ATO will again be eyeing unsubstantiated, or higher-than-expected, work-related expense tax deductions and claims on rental properties, according to assistant commissioner Karen Foat.

In the 2017-18 financial year, there were almost 9 million taxpayers claiming a total of $21.7 billion in work-related expenses.

This includes claims relating to cars, travel, clothing, mobile phone and internet use and self-education expenses.

This year, the ATO expects that figure could rise as more people work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ATO has also warned that members who took money out of their superannuation accounts without meeting the eligibility requirements could face fines and prosecution.

The Morrison Government’s COVID-19 early super access scheme allows eligible members to withdraw $10,000 this financial year and another $10,000 in the 2021 financial year.

Already, about $15 billion has been paid out to almost 2 million Australians

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