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  • Tax time 2015 off to a flying start

    With the first month of tax time behind us the ATO is reporting a significant increase in the number of electronic lodgements as an expanded suite of online services strike a chord with taxpayers.

    Now in its second year, the streamlined online tax return myTax has received almost 800,000 lodgments, more than double the amount lodged at the same time last year. Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said it was pleasing to see so many taxpayers using myTax to lodge their return.

    “After a successful launch last year we’ve put a lot of work into refining our myTax product and ensuring it makes it as quick and easy for people to lodge a tax return,” Mr Whyte said.

    “This year’s myTax product is even more personalised and streamlined, and it’s pleasing to see so many people getting their tax done in a fraction of the time of previous years.

    “We expect to reach one million myTax lodgments in a few weeks which will be an outstanding result in what is actually the 100th year of the tax return in Australia.”

    Mr Whyte said he expected the strong lodgment figures to continue, particularly with more information becoming available through pre-filling.

    “The vast bulk of the pre-fill information we use has now been supplied to us, so if you haven’t lodged already, you’ll probably find most of your myTax return has been completed for you.

    “This includes things like salary and wage info, bank interest, private health insurance, spouse details and other government payments.

    “All you need to do is check the data, add in your deductions and you’re done.”

    Feedback from the ATO’s exit survey has also been positive, with many people pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to lodge a tax return using myTax. “This has been the easiest tax return I've ever filled out,” one taxpayer reported, while another said “Good work improving online submission of tax. It is MUCH easier. A breeze. Thank you.”

    The ATO’s longer-form electronic system e-tax, now in its final year, has received over 400,000 returns, a significant decrease from last year’s figures as more taxpayers move to the quicker and easier myTax option.

    Overall electronic lodgments are up 6 per cent from the same time last year, with almost 3.2 million returns already received via myTax, e-tax or through a tax agent. The number of self-lodgers has also increased, with almost 20 per cent more people completing their own tax return compared with last year.

    Crunching the numbers – July 2015

    • 775,704 current year returns received through myTax.
    • 406,495 current year returns received through e-tax.
    • 3,218,131 total electronic lodgments received through myTax, e-tax or through a tax agent.
    • 1,854,224 refunds have been issued, totalling $4,803m.
    • 14,672,634 visits to the ATO website.
    • Over 1,000,000 calls received through call centres.
    Last modified: 10 Aug 2015QC 46639