What is E-Tax and How Do You Use It?

In Australia, professionals regardless of the type of work they do have to pay a lot of tax. Normally, this can range from 13 to 29 percent. The percentage also depends on a person’s length of stay in the country.

But then again, taxpayers also get a refund or taxback if they have exceeded the amount paid in tax for a particular financial year. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is in charge of calculating this based on an employee’s final pay slip or pay as you go (PAYG) payment summary provided by employers.

In order to claim a refund, one needs to file an income tax return. This is normally done manually sometimes through the help of accountants but in Australia, the ATO now offers an E-Tax service that allows professionals to prepare and lodge their tax return on their own and online.

This service is very convenient for employees as they need not go to the ATO to file their tax return. In 2011, 2.6 million individuals were able to successfully use the e-tax service.

The first and most important step to use this service is to verify your identity on the ATO website at www.ato.gov.au. Certain requirements will have to be provided such as your name, date of issue and sequence or reference number as stated in your notice of assessment (NOA).

If an NOA is not available, one needs to provide his full name, date of birth, tax file number issued to you and unique or shared secret information. You will then receive an email notification when your identity has been verified.

Once you’re verified, you can start filing your claim for a refund using e-tax by first downloading the software and run it in your computer. Only computers running on the latest Windows operating systems (XP, Vista, 7) and with firewalls that can be re-configured will be able to download the software.

The next step is to complete your tax return. You can do this with the aid of the pre-filling service that automatically fills in your information. You can then just review the data there and add those that are missing.

Processing of tax returns through this online service takes 12 business days. However, users can only view and lodge their tax return for that particular year. Records of the previous year will not be visible. It is also not possible to amend any information from the prior year.

About the guest author:

Kylee is a freelance writer based in Australia contributing articles on various sites including Makdap.com.au.