A very nervous couple came to our office recently and confessed to having 12 years (each) of overdue tax returns.
With our help, they are now up to date, extremely relieved and $85,000 richer.
People who get behind with their tax returns can sometimes put their heads in the sand. The task begins to look too hard and fear about the likely outcome grows.
But getting yourself up to date can be a lot easier than you think – especially with the right help on board.
After 25 years of completing backdated tax returns for clients, the following are five of the most common tax arrears fears:
Where do I start?
Like the journey of 1 million miles, it starts with the first step – and that often is making an appointment with a professionally qualified registered tax agent. Put your time line together and bring in whatever records you have, photo ID and your tax file number.
How do I get old information if I don’t have it on file?
Once you are registered as a client with a registered tax agent, they can often access information through online resources at the ATO. In some cases, we can even write to the ATO and request copies of former returns.
Will I be fined?
Technically, the answer is yes – and individual taxpayer can be fined up to $850 for a late lodgement. In practice, if you are a wage earner and the ATO owes you money in refunds, the fines are often minimal or Nil.
Should I expect a bill or a refund?
This will depend on individual circumstances, but the obligation to lodge will not go away by ignoring it. And, who knows, there could well be a pot of money waiting for you when we add up all the results.
Am I the only one this far behind?
People of all ages and stages of life – old or young, rich or poor, blue collar or professional – can get behind with their tax return lodgements. And whether it’s one year or 12 years, we’ve seen it all.
So, if you are behind lodging your tax returns, why not take that first step in the journey? If you’re over three years behind, get in touch to claim a year’s return processed for free.