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7 steps help you be a tax boss - here's how

03 June 2021

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Are you one of us? Someone who re-engages with their finances because it’s tax time. If tax time is your time to self-reconcile your finances and set financial goals for the year ahead, only to promptly forget it all, here’s 7 steps that may help you stay engaged longer (making it easier to save), as well as help you get your tax done.

And if you're wondering what is my 'taxable income' and how much income tax will I have to pay, you can see more about how your taxable income is calculated by watching this jargon buster video from our financial education experts at Davidson Institute.

According to stats, there's a few of us who miss the tax deadline despite knowing the due date: 31 October 2021, and more than 50 per cent of us view our interest and tax summary on our desktop.

Did you know that if the 14.3 million individuals who lodged tax returns for the 2017–18 income year were represented as 100 People, then the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) received tax returns from 51 males and 49 females from across Australia. 

After assessing the 100 people representing the rest of us:

  • 76 people received a refund
  • 17 people owed tax
  • 7 balanced perfectly.

Tax refunds can be considerable. Depending on your deductions and taking into consideration the Federal Government's Budget measures it's well worthwhile preparing for EOFY. Seven simple steps will get you on your way to being a tax boss.

Step 1: Start by updating your Westpac Live Online Banking details.

Check that your personal details are complete and up to date (including your tax-residency status). Any details that don’t match the ATO records can cause processing delays. Checking in with your banking, regularly, keeps you up to date and it’s simple to do online.

Step 2: Download your Westpac Interest & Tax Summary.

You’ll need your Interest and Tax Summary to lodge your tax return and to verify your bank account interest is accurate. Sign in to Westpac Live Online Banking and visit Overview > Interest and Tax Summary; or sign in to the Mobile Banking App and visit Services > Interest and Tax Summary. Learn more (There is a cost to you to have the Interest and Tax Summary printed in branch, which is why we’re encouraging you to download this online for free.)

Step 3: Collect all other summary statements.

You’ll receive summary statements from your employer, health insurer, charities you’ve supported, insurance providers and all other income and payment sources. They are usually emailed or posted to you sometime during July, for the financial year just passed.

Step 4: Consolidate your deductions.

Once signed in to Online Banking, you can search your last 3 years’ worth of transactions, look up merchants to help reconcile any allowable deductions and access past eStatements to find up to 7 years’ history of payments for eligible accounts. Read more about what you might be able to claim here, including work from home expenses.

Step 5: Submit your Tax Return.

You can do this online via myTax , by mail (on a standard paper-based return ordered from the ATO ), or via a tax agent or accountant registered with the Tax Practitioners Board. Regardless of who lodges it, it should be lodged it by 31 October 2021.

Step 6: Stay in the know.

Download the ATO App to see all your tax information, record deductions on the go, and access tax calculators. Once lodged, you can even track the progress of your tax return. You can also use a tax estimator to get an indication of whether you’ll receive a refund or a bill.

Step 7: Receive your Tax Refund.

If you qualify for a tax refund and you’ve nominated your Westpac account on your tax return, any tax refund will be deposited directly into your account. Simply sign in to view and access it.

This information should be used as a guide only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider its appropriateness before acting on it. We recommend that you seek independent legal and tax advice about your specific circumstances. 

The taxation position described is a general statement and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current tax laws and their interpretation.

Before using Online or Mobile Banking, please read the Westpac Online Banking Terms and Conditions.

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