ATO supports tax returns with mobile apps


The Australian Taxation Office has revamped its tax return service with expanded support for smart phones and mobile apps

The Australian Taxation Office’s e-tax tax return system is being replaced with a simpler, internet-based myTax service. This offering supports returns using smart phones and mobile apps. 

More than 25 million returns were filed using the e-tax since its launch in 1999, according to the ATO’s assistant commissioner Graham Whyte.

He said this service had become “quite old” and could only be downloaded as software onto a PC. The ATO is phasing out e-tax with myTax, offering a more personlised interface.

“myTax makes it very easy to lodge your tax return yourself, particularly if you have got relatively simple affairs,” noted Whyte. 

The ATO estimates that five million of the 12.5 million people that lodge returns will benefit from more simplified tax management.

myTax can be accessed on a computer, smartphone or tablet. This service is enhanced “to do everything e-tax could do and more.” This offering can be accessed through the government’s or websites. 


Growing consumer base

More than 500,000 consumers have already used myTax this tax time. The ATO is suggesting people using myTax hold off until August. By then, the office will receive additional data from employers, banks, government agencies and other third parties to pre-fill tax returns.

Among the functionality, the ATO can check people’s deductions in real-time, as and when they complete online return using myTax. 


Snap, save and store

One popular tool using an ATO app is myDeductions. This enables users to ‘snap, save and store’ their individual income tax deductions in a single place. This helps track expenses without the worry of lost and faded receipts.

An estimated 15,000 people have uploaded their deductions claims using the myDeductions tool, estimates the ATO. 

Moreover, a virtual assistant, Alex, is now designed to field questions around tax return, as a result avoiding the time-consuming phone queues.


Automating the paperwork

The ATO has focused on expanding and improving its online services. MyTax was expanded, offering a service that is quick, easy, and highly-secure.

A growing user base incorporates property investors. They can lodge using myTax for the first time, while integrating with new online tools that record depreciation or capital allowances.

Much of the tax paperwork to lodge is now automated. This includes systems pre-filling people’s returns. This data includes details for wages, bank interest, share dividends or private health insurance information. Taxpayers may only need to acknowledge this data is correct.