PO Box 525, Bentleigh, Victoria, 3204

I wanted my $1,080 tax refund

Have you already lodged your 2019 individual tax return? You were encourage to do it by the new government so you could get the $1,080 refund. Well if you were eligible for the Low Medium Income Tax Offset (LMITO).

Be careful as you may have jumped the gun.

Remember the ATO have very sophisticated data matching capabilities. They can find income that you had forgotten about. A job that you only had for a few weeks. Maybe it was a dividend from Telstra or AMP, or another share investment where you didn’t see the amount because it was under a DRP. Interest from a closed bank account. Sale of real estate also can get picked up. The list goes on and on…….

The ATO collects all this information and produces what they call a “pre-fill” report. These reports start becoming available through MyTax or via your tax agent after June 30. Then they get updated as new information comes through. So when are they complete? End August is a reasonable bet according to the ATO, but some data can take even longer.

So what happens if you have already lodged your return and then more income starts coming through these “pre-fill” reports that you accidentally forgot to include in your tax return.

There is a high degree of certainty that the ATO will catch up with you …… eventually. The ATO may send a “please explain” letter or automatically issue an ATO amended assessment. Either way it most likely will result in a payment of tax owing on the taxable income that you forgot to include, giving back some of the $1,080 that you already spent. Hopefully it was accidental and the ATO will remit any fines, penalties and/or interest.

So you may not have finalised your dealings with the ATO for yet another year and maybe hearing from them again sooner than you had hoped.