myTax – The ATO’s free online tax return lodgement solution for individuals.
Note: Etax (the predecessor of myTax) was retired from 1 June 2016 and is no longer available for download.
Signing up to myGov is required for online tax lodgment
To use myTax online a registration at “myGov” is required. The site my.gov.au is administered by the Department of Human Services, and is a single online access point for a range of government services and departments, including the Tax Office, Medicare, Centrelink, Child Support, eHealth, Veterans Affairs and Disability Services.
For myTax tax return lodgements, the myGov registration must be activated (or already be active), and the ATO linked as a “service” enabling you to transact with the Tax Office.
(Note: my.gov.au replaces australia.gov.au. If already registered with australia.gov.au the ID can be used to log in to myGov).
myGov registration is quick and easy and can be accessed wherever the myGov logo and registration link is displayed. On the ATO’s website look for the “online services” box shown above.
myTax 2018: the online alternative
Using myTax 2018 is a simple way to lodge personal tax returns, because tax returns can be lodged from practically any device with an internet connection.
Unlike e-tax (only available up to 2015) myTax doesn’t require the download or update of a software program every year. The functionality of myTax has been significantly expanded for use from 2015-16 onwards.
2014 and 2015 returns can also be lodged online using myTax. Years before 2014 will require a paper return, or lodgement via a tax agent. See more info here.
The myTax online tax return lodgement service is free and is for individual tax returns. In 2015 it was expanded to include people with income, tax offsets or deductions from superannuation pensions, lump sum payments, managed investment funds and foreign pensions.
- Individuals – Lodge online
- From 1 July 2016, sole traders and contractors are also be able to use myTax to lodge tax returns – see media release and more information here.
A key advantage of using myTax is that data from Tax Office records can be electronically pre-filled to make the process fast and simple.
However the best use of pre-filled information is after sufficient time has elapsed, for the information to have been made available to the Tax Office by employers and financial institutions. For this reason the Tax Office has advised holding off using myTax until August.
Paper Tax returns
Whilst myTax is convenient, hard copy paper tax returns can still be lodged using stationery provided by the tax office. In some cases, for example if the taxpayer does not have an Australian bank account, myTax cannot be used, and a paper return would be necessary.
The “penalty” for using a paper lodgment is the extended assessment timeframe, stated to be 50 days, rather than the 2 weeks turnaround offered by electronic lodgment.
A list of common tax return forms for 2018 can be found here.
This page was last modified 2018-07-03