The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is helping taxpayers to get their tax returns right through pop-up shops and the Tax Help program.
“These two programs help thousands each year to get it right at tax time. Staff at our pop-up shops can explain the benefits of going digital, while our Tax Help program helps those on low incomes with simple tax affairs, to do their return, which is especially important.” Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat said.
The ATO will host pop-up shops around Australia this tax time. This service provides face-to-face advice, guidance and support to taxpayers at community hubs, libraries, shopping centres, shows and universities around the country.
“We are visiting sites around the country to support members of the community who may be unsure of how to use our digital services,” Ms Foat said.
“We want everyone to feel confident using our online products and services, regardless of whether you use an agent or lodge your own return,” she said.
The pop-up shops will demonstrate the ATO’s online lodgment tool, myTax, and its smartphone app’s myDeductions tool. Taxpayers will also be able to link their myGov account to the ATO, find lost super, lodge tax returns, apply for a tax file number and track the progress of your return.
If you are planning to do your own return this year, Ms Foat said the ATO’s online lodgment tool, myTax, is a fast, easy and secure solution.
“Most people can lodge through myTax in less than half an hour and you no longer have to worry about lost or faded receipts. Use our myDeductions tool to snap, save and store receipts to keep track of your expenses. Getting your deductions right helps your community and gives you peace of mind” Ms Foat said.
At tax time, taxpayers can upload data from the myDeductions tool to myTax or send it to their registered tax agent.
Pop-ups start on 28 June and end on 17 October. Find your nearest pop-up shop at ato.gov.au/popup
The ATO’s Tax Help program will feature around 800 ATO-trained and accredited volunteers at more than 600 locations across Australia, including local libraries, community centres and organisations in metropolitan, rural and regional areas. These volunteers help taxpayers with simple tax affairs, who are earning under $60,000 to lodge their tax returns.
“Last year alone, we helped over 30,000 people lodge their taxes. Since 1988 the Tax Help service has helped more than one-and-a-half million Australians with their tax returns,” Ms Foat said.
“Our volunteers are trained and accredited to provide a free and confidential service to help people complete their tax returns online using myTax.
“Using Tax Help should reassure taxpayers that they are getting the appropriate assistance to get it right at tax time,” Ms Foat said.
If you’re eligible for Tax Help, you will need a myGov account linked to the ATO. If necessary, its volunteers can help you create your myGov account and link it to the ATO.
When you are ready to make an appointment, phone ATO on 13 28 61 for your nearest Tax Help centre.
Tax Help is available from July to October in all capital cities and many regional areas across Australia. Find more details on the Tax Help program here: ato.gov.au/taxhelp
The ATO has also developed a range of occupation and industry-specific publications to support taxpayers to make correct work-related expense claims at tax time.
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