EOFY: Australian Taxation Office axes e-Tax for new online portal

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With the end of the financial year on the horizon, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced today that its long time online lodgement tool e-tax has been retired in favour of a new portal. Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said the ATO had replaced e-tax for Tax Time 2016 with myTax, which has been upgraded and improved since last tax time.

“In 2016, myTax has been expanded to do everything e-tax could do and more, and will be available on 1 July 2016,” Whyte said.

“For example, not only will Australians with rental properties be able to use myTax this year, but they will also be able to take advantage of the fully integrated tools and calculators. One of these new tools allows property investors to record depreciation and capital gains.”

MyTax is now suitable for any Australian who wants to lodge their own tax return. From 1 July, sole traders and contractors also will be able to lodge their tax returns using myTax.

Kelly O’Dwyer, the Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, made the announcement saying it will give small businesses a “quicker and easier experience” when dealing with the Australian Tax Office (ATO). O’Dwyer said, “We want to save businesses not only money but also time.”

Last year more than 1.75 million individuals lodged their tax returns using myTax and the expansion to sole traders and contractors will likely see 3 million people using the online system this year.

With this change, sole traders will be able to speed up their tax return process and access online tools to help manage the more complex aspects of the tax returns, said O’Dwyer, including personal services income, depreciation, and the small business income tax offset.

“Further to this, most of the information for myTax is pre-filled and can be accessed from almost any device connected to the internet,” explained O’Dwyer.

“I encourage all individuals and sole traders to try out myTax,” O’Dwyer said.

MyTax is accessible to sole traders through their myGov account. The change was first set on the Government’s agenda last year by Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan in a promise to make it easier for small businesses to lodge online.

Jordan said,“We are genuinely trying to give a better client experience to people – small businesses, individuals across the board. We’re cleaning up the website, making it easier for small business by putting it all in the one spot … We need to be more directly telling people our story because it’s a little bit difficult to get the good news out in terms of the broader media.”

First introduced in 2014, myTax slashes the time and effort required to lodge your own tax return. It is safe and secure, and can be accessed on any smartphone, tablet or computer.

“Over the past few years we’ve been seeing around three million Australians prepare their own tax return using either myTax or e-tax, so we’re hoping to see three million myTax lodgements in 2016,” Whyte said.

“We understand sometimes it can be hard to change habits, especially for those who have been using e-tax since its launch in 1999. What we would say to those who are a bit unsure about myTax is to give it a go: you’ll probably have your tax return lodged in a fraction of the time.”

Chloe Potvin
Chloe Potvin is a contributing small business writer for Kochie's Business Builders.