Subject to eligibility, there are a number of ways to get free tax return help and other resources.
Each year, the Australian Tax Office runs its Tax Help program with a team of trained volunteers in the suburbs. This service is only suitable for people with lower incomes and simple tax returns.
The scheme is limited in scope: It does not provide advice or an estimate of your tax position, or follow up on progress of assessments or other queries.
Despite the tight scope of the program, there is quite a large number of taxpayers who are eligible the service, which can be a convenient solution for seniors, students, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, people with a disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Income qualification for free help
The Tax Help program is generally restricted to taxpayers with incomes of $50,000 or less and EXCLUDES taxpayers receiving income as a contractor – examples given include a contract cleaner or taxi driver, business income, sale of shares or investments, rental property income, royalties, trust distributions other than a managed fund, and foreign income other than a pension.
Tax Help volunteers cannot help with business tax returns, partnership and trust matters, capital gains tax or rental properties.
The Tax Help scheme runs from July to October each year, with 31 October being the normal lodgement deadline.
Returns are lodged electronically through the Tax Help scheme, giving the advantage of a quick assessment turn-around time (promoted by the Tax Office as 12 working days).
Free tax return software programs – E-Tax and myTax
The Tax Office’s free electronic tax return software – eTax – is used to prepare and lodge tax returns and also available for taxpayers to use themselves, if they have access to a computer and the internet.
MyTax Online Application
MyTax is a fully online pre-filled tax returns with no software to download is available to taxpayers with simple circumstances. The Tax Office will be proactively contacting taxpayers considered eligible for the service.
How to get tax help
To obtain Tax Help, simply call the Tax Office on 13 28 61 to make an appointment between July and October each year. You will be directed to the Tax Help location nearest to you.
- Free tax lodgment software and online – eTax and MyTax – electronic lodgement desktop software solution or MyTax online accessible from any computer
This page was last modified on 13 July 2015