Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Tax time

Perhaps I'm just a masochist, but I continue to prepare and lodge my own tax returns. My affairs aren't particularly complex, and over the years, I have done my best to keep up with changes as they occur, and as they are incorporated into e-Tax  I do admit that it would be challenging to lodge via e-Tax if you had to make a "cold start".  However, I  am associated with a trust that has to lodge a return, and an accountant arranges this.   Based on my experience in this regard, my observation is that the main issue is assembling the required information.  Once this is done, the actual process of inserting it into the tax return is not always as hard as it might seem.

I also note that the ATO now allows simplified returns to be lodged using "myTax".  However, my affairs do have a couple of little "wrinkles"  so I don't come into this category that can use this form, and I have to continue to work my way through e-Tax.
The biggest change this year is the need to create a "myGov" account.   Although this is a new process, I guess it just builds incrementally on the previous arrangements.    Just the same, the process certainly brought "Big Brother" to mind and I worry about the security of portals such as this.   Frankly, I'm not reassured when, after a security breach, I read statements along the lines that, oh yes, there was a vulnerability, but we've "fixed" it (that is, past tense).   I guess the next vulnerability will be fixed, too - after the hackers have demonstrated that it exists!

Another issue with e-Tax is that it's hard to save a pdf file of the final tax return as lodged (or even as a draft).  I think e-Tax expects you to retain the file within e-Tax.  I've experimented with a couple of work-arounds, and the best one that I've come across is a little bit of freeware called "CutePDF writer".   Pity that e-Tax doesn't contain something like this.

The one upside of all this is the nice feeling that I get when, after hours of digging out data and filling things in, I finally press the "submit" button!

No comments:

Post a Comment