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New push tax returns

The ATO has recently revealed that over a million Australians may be able to avoid filling in a tax return in 2014.

As many as 1.4 million Australians could be offered new ‘push’ returns from as early as next year. Lodging a tax return will still be necessary; however the process of filling the tax return in will be simplified.

This planned product, known as Streamlined Income Tax Return, will be available to Australians who have simple and straightforward tax affairs.

The ATO already collects the majority of information that is required to fill and lodge a tax return and plans to use this information to pre-fill a taxpayer’s tax return.

Streamlined Income Tax Return will allow taxpayers to log straight onto the ATO’s system. They will only need to prove their identity to be able to view a completely pre-filled tax return. This tax return will already have all the relevant information provided by third parties, such as banks, employers, Centrelink or Medicare.

This pre-filled return will also list estimates of items such as work-related deductions. This estimate will be calculated by rolling over information used in past tax returns.

However, it is important to note if taxpayers lodge an incorrect pre-filled return with the ATO they will be liable for the mistake and could incur a fine. Streamlined Income Tax Returns will only be suitable for those taxpayers with simple tax affairs. Taxpayers will still benefit from the services of a trusted tax agent who understand their individual circumstances.

Posted on 23 January '14 by , under Tax.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
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  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
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  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
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  • Details of your previous fund.

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