Lodging your tax return as soon as the financial year ends might seem appealing, especially with the rising cost of living and the desire to check it off your to-do list. However, the ATO warns that early July lodgers are twice as likely to make mistakes on their returns. It’s crucial to take your time and ensure accuracy.

Tax time is not a race, and there is a much higher chance that your return will be missing important information if you lodge in early July.

– ATO Assistant Commissioner Rob Thomson

Why Wait Until Later in July?

While you can lodge your tax return as early as 1 July, the ATO recommends submitting it later in the month. Here’s why:

Pre-Filled Data: Waiting allows time for information from employers, banks, health funds, and government agencies (e.g., Centrelink) to be automatically pre-filled in your tax return if you use myTax or a registered tax agent.

Data Finalisation: Most data is finalised by the end of July, though some information, like partnership or trust distributions, may be unavailable until later.

Common Mistakes by Early Lodgers

Early lodgers often forget to include:

  • Bank interest
  • Dividend income
  • Government agency income
  • Health insurance details

How to Prepare

While waiting for the relevant information to pre-fill, you should:

Check Contact and Bank Details: Ensure they are correct, as updating these after lodging a return can cause delays.

Gather Necessary Records: This includes receipts, diaries, and private health insurance details.

Review ATO Occupation Guides: Ensure you claim what you’re entitled to.

Pre-Fill Availability

Check the “Pre-fill availability” of third-party information providers for your 2023-24 tax return on the ATO website. Links are provided to check information from government agencies, health funds, financial institutions, and companies.

Income Statements

Ensure your income statement from your employer(s)—covering year-to-date salary and wages, PAYG withholding tax, and employer super contributions—is marked “tax ready.” Also, check that your pre-fill data is available in myTax before preparing to lodge. Confirm that all pre-filled information is complete and correct.

From 1 July 2024, you cannot delete or remove pre-filled government benefit data for Allowance or Pension payments (e.g., Jobseeker, Age Pension, Disability Support Pension). The ATO’s pre-fill service provides greater certainty for benefit data, with markers indicating “high certainty data.” Gaps may arise due to delays in information provision, data mismatches, or data quality checks. If you find errors, contact the provider to ensure corrections are sent to the ATO.

Fixing Mistakes

Whether you lodge early in July or later, the ATO understands that mistakes can happen. If you realize you’ve made an error after lodging your tax return, you can fix it through the ATO online amendment process via myGov or by speaking with your registered tax agent.

By taking your time and ensuring all data is complete and accurate, you can avoid mistakes and ensure your tax return is processed smoothly.

Start a conversation

Let’s get started. Call us today (02) 9891 6044

Together, we can create something amazing.