Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024
alert-–-australians-warned-of-hefty-fines-as-tax-return-deadline-loomsAlert – Australians warned of hefty fines as tax return deadline looms

Australians have been urgently reminded time is running out with just a little over a week left to lodge their tax returns or face a hefty fine.

Aussies have until October 31 to lodge their 2022/2023 tax return or face ‘swift and firm action’ from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and risk being fined one penalty unit, $313, for each day it is late.

The ATO has also reminded business owners of several important dates to file tax returns, annual reports and paying employees superannuation.

The maximum fine an individual or small business can be fined is $1,565, while a business earning between $1-20million will be fined twice as much.

An extension of the deadline up until May 14, 2024, can be achieved through an application that must be lodged through an accountant by October 31.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has urged Aussies to lodge their tax returns by October 31 or face ‘swift and firm action’ (stock image)

ATO assistant commissioner Jillian Kitto said paying tax is not an option and anyone who misses the deadline should expect penalties and interest.

READ MORE: How fresh $1,500 tax shock is coming for Australians – on top of ANOTHER $1,500 blow that already hurt 10 million taxpayers

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‘It is in your best interest to engage with the ATO before the bill is due if you can’t pay in full and on time,’ Ms Kitto said in a statement.

‘This means engaging with us before it becomes a tax debt where interest will accrue daily – and before we take firmer action.’

Those unable to pay their tax bill because of financial hardship might be eligible to pay it off in instalments and avoid being fined.

‘We are encouraging people to get their tax and super affairs in order and to engage with us prior to the deadline if they find themselves in financial difficulties,’ Ms Kitto said. 

‘However, it’s likely that you will be better off financially if you pay in full and on time, rather than arranging a payment plan.’ 

Most work expenses incurred by Aussies can be claimed on their tax return, with everything from work-from-home expenses to handbags eligible.

Ms Kitto also urged business owners to ensure their employee’s super has been paid alongside submissions of their quarterly reports by October 28.

Individuals and small businesses can be fined $313 for every day a tax return  is late, while a business earning between $1-20million will be fined twice as much (stock image)

Aussies have also been reminded what they can and can’t claim as tax write-offs this year, with work from home expenses to handbags all able to be claimed.

Chartered Accountant Allan Mason worked alongside the billionaire Kerry Packer at his Consolidated Press Holdings company.

The director of Encore Accounting and author of ‘tax secrets of the rich’ told Daily Mail Australia his book has ‘truth nuggets’ the ATO does not want taxpayers to know.

‘There’s only two things certain in life, death and taxes. Well, I’ve been doing this for 40 years and I can tell you death is certain but taxes are not,’ Mr Mason said.

‘I would say a good 10 to 20 per cent of taxpayers fail to claim the things they’re entitled to claim because they’re either slack or they just don’t know and people pay more tax because of this.’ 

WHAT AUSSIES CAN CLAIM ON THIER TAX RETURNS THIS YEAR 

Australians can begin to file their tax returns after June 30 and have until October 31 to do so.

Below is a list of 10 ways workers can make the most of their tax return.

1. Work bag 

Residents can claim back the money they spent on a bag as long as it is used primarily to carry work supplies between their home and the office.

2. Travel

Drivers can keep a logbook of the kilometres they travel and should hold onto the receipts of any expenses they pay for including food and accommodation.

3. Occupation and industry guide

Workers have been told to check the occupation and industry guides set out by the ATO to find out what items they can claim back in their industry.

Workers who are required to drive around a lot can also make a claim on their tax return

4. Work from home expenses

5. Pre-pay expenses for investment properties

Homeowners with an investment property should pay their strata fees or insurance in advance in order to reduce the amount they can claim next year 

6. Self-education material

Employees can also get money back if they purchased any materials to further their education in their industry. This includes books, magazines and newspapers. 

7. Union fees

Workers can claim back any fees they have paid to be represented by a union.

8. Super contribution

Australians can make a one-off payment to their super from their post-tax savings at the end-of-financial year. 

9. Donate to charity 

Residents can claim back any money they donated to a charity. 

10. Invest under a company name

Investing money under a company structure to save 17 per cent on your investment income.

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