The Legal Side to Lodging your Tax Return

Posted on 08 October 2012

Tax lodgement time is well and truly upon us and by now you are probably organised to complete the forms yourself or you have made an appointment with your accountant. Your file/s of associated paperwork will be organised and you are ready to set yourself straight with the ATO for another year. Or so you hope. If you are not yet organised, here are a few reminders about making sure that the information you are giving is correct. Fines and penalties do apply for false information provided in income tax returns.

The ATO did a complete system overhaul in 2010 which not only enabled them to process more than 200,000 tax returns per night but also to detect returns which could potentially be deemed “dodgy”. These “dodgy” issues include returns where people understate their income, overstate their deductions or claim rebates they are not entitled to. Extensive electronic data matching from banks, company share registries, health funds and government departments now takes place and with the introduction of an industry based benchmarking system there is an expectation that a certain level of deductions and income for people working in particular industries will be included. If you are outside this expected range, you risk being audited. In other words, the risk of being found out for including false information is high.

To ensure you have another year with no problems, here are a few points to note:

  • Keep all supporting documents or receipts for amounts claimed
  • Check your bank statements for interest earned and also share dividends to ensure you are declaring the correct amounts
  • Don’t guess or make it up
  • Check for errors in spelling, birth dates and other information being input
  • If your return is complex or you are not confident to complete it yourself, seek professional assistance

Tax lodgements should be made by 31st October for individuals and businesses should check with their accountant for compliance lodgement dates.

Please don't hesitate to contact Dooley & Associates for assistance with any legal matter.