Nobody likes lodging their tax return — and that’s a well-known fact. It’s up there with the most tedious adult responsibilities, like condensing your super or going to an actual post office because you missed the postman. If we could skip it, we would.
However, with tax time rolling around like no one’s business, it is time to set yourself down and lodge that baby for some (hopefully) sweet returns. We know using an online tax service isn’t for everyone, but for those of you who are keen to round off the latest financial year online — we’ve found a handful of services that will make your tax-lodging life a little easier.
Just remember, tax returns cover the financial year from July 1 to June 30 and if you’re lodging your own tax return, it's due by October 31.
Check out the best online tax services to use this year.
Best Online Tax Services
MyTax can be accessed through the government platform MyGov (so you need to set up an account with MyGov before you can start lodging). This online service is one of the quickest and easiest ways to lodge your tax return online and is totally web-based so you don’t need to download anything. You can lodge your tax with MyTax on a range of devices including a computer, smartphone or tablet (so long as it’s lodged by the October 31 deadline) and it has also been updated so you use a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge your tax return for you.
Etax kind of makes you feel like an actual accountant — that’s how incredibly easy this online service is to use. Packed with comprehensive cues, a refund calculator which shows your refund as you progress through your lodgement and reminders and alerts from Etax accountants (who actually check your claims for accuracy and any extra deductions) to make sure you’ve got everything in there, this online tax service is a huge win the more you use it.
Taxopia is a Melbourne-based tax consultancy which lets you lodge your tax wherever you are. We love this one because it contains a mammoth hub for your tax-related questions which makes you feel less of an absolute-newbie if you haven’t lodged your tax on your own before.
If it’s a speedy tax lodgement you’re after (say… a few days before the tax deadline), then hit up H&R Block. This online service is the absolute bomb dot com when it comes to zipping through your tax return as fast as possible with all the accuracy. You’ll also be able to download H&R Block’s online express tax return app which makes lodging your tax possible in three steps (plus, their accountants always check your return before it goes through as well).
Online Tax Australia
Online Tax Australia is the complete one-stop-shop for all your tax return needs. This online tax service provides all the tips, help, deduction guides, tax calculators and templates which pretty much takes all the stress and frustration out of lodging your own returns. It’s also free to try, so if you complete a return and decide not to submit it for review and lodgement, you absolutely can with no fee.
Best Tax Return Apps
Australia Taxation Office App
As far as seamless tax apps go, if you’re from Australia, the Australia Taxation Office is a free tax return app clocking in as a clear winner. You can link up your tax and super all in the one, record and manage expenses, upload your myDeductions records to your tax return at any point and email a copy to your tax agent, calculate the tax to withhold from salary and wage payments, work out key dates and set important reminders and alerts for tax and super obligations and access a heap of other useful tools and calculators. Yep, there’s not much this guy doesn’t do.
Draw your attention to one of the best tax return apps in Australia. Receipt Bank takes a lot of heavy lifting out of the game for you so you can focus on more important things like watching your boss business grow. Sporting a receipt scanner, harbouring tools to do a touch of book keeping for the digi age and integrating with any accounting software you’ve already got like Xero and QBO, this expense tracker is an absolute must-have and will be your best friend during tax time. Receipt Bank is free but also has in-app purchases if you’re keen to step things up a notch.
Mileage Logbook By Driversnote
The Mileage Logbook By Driversnote is your one-way ticket to hitting autopilot this tax return period. This pocket tracker basically monitors your trips on the go and uses your phone’s GPS to do so. You can also enable “auto tracking” which means all your trips will automatically be logged in the background (so you’ll never miss a log again). On top of this, if you need to document mileage for multiple vehicles or for more than one employer, you can easily split your trips and reports for different vehicles and workplaces. To really round things out, your mileage can easily be submitted over to your ATO compliant logbook, can we get a hell yeah?
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Image credit: Brook Cage
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstances before acting on it, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a finance professional such as an adviser.