What is MyGov & what is MyTax?
MyGov is the internet portal that allows Australians to easily access government services including the ATO, Medicare and Centrelink to name a few.
MyGov has become increasingly integral at tax time with the MyTax service becoming the quickest & easiest way to lodge your tax return online. Whilst MyTax makes it simple for individuals to lodge their own simple Income Tax Returns, complex or detailed returns still require the assistance of an accountant to prepare and advise for lodgement.
What are the changes I need to know?
You can use a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge your tax return. Registered tax agents are the only people allowed to charge a fee to prepare and lodge your tax return. You will need to organise all your required tax records to take to your tax agent appointment. However, an important change to the ATO terms and conditions to note is that you MUST authorise your Tax Agent to receive correspondence from the ATO otherwise all will be directed to your personal MyGov inbox instead of being sent straight to your agent.
Updates to the ATO Online Terms & Conditions will see changes including:
– The ability to authorise your Tax or BAS agent to designate their ATO online inbox to receive some or all of your ATO correspondence. Your personal myGov inbox will still receive communication that isn’t directed at your agent.
– If you currently use secret questions & answers to confirm identity, the use of myGov security codes or the myGov app is recommended and will be mandatory to use to improve security from 1 June 2019.
What you should do:
– If you wish your tax related communication to be sent to your tax agent, then make the required selections in your myGov account.
Single Touch Payroll & Reporting to MyTax
Another change you may have noticed is related to the way in which employers report your earnings, Single Touch Payroll legislation means certain sized companies will no longer just provide you with a group certificate, instead they must report financial years earnings and tax paid directly to the ATO each pay cycle therefore total earnings will be available and prefilled into MyTax.
“Around nine million Australians will be able to see their year-to-date salary and wages, PAYG withholding tax, and any employer super contributions in near real time,” Karen Foat, assistant commissioner of the ATO said. This will increase in following years as Single Touch Payroll becomes mandatory for all businesses.
Other information including interest for banks, health funds and government agencies will also be prefilled into MyTax – all of these changes aim to make completing It is important to WAIT until all this information has been prefilled to avoid making errors or lodging an incorrect return and having to submit an amendment.
Safety & Security of MyGov
Some questions have been raised about the safety and security of MyGov. However, it has been assured that MyGov and its services are secure and the safest way to lodge your return, with secure features and two factor identification required to access your account.
One major issue is several scams which have emerged since the introduction of MyGov and rear their head each tax time. These scams attempt to imitate the MyGov website or involve phishing emails that claim to be from MyGov regarding tax refunds or asking for personal information. It’s important to remember that the ATO or MyGov will never contact you via email or SMS requesting that you click on a link or provide personal/financial details. If you are ever unsure if correspondence is legitimate always double check by calling ATO Scam Hotline – 1800 008 540.
If you do not wish to lodge your tax through MyGov/MyTax – it is not mandatory at this stage. You can unlink your ATO account from your MyGov or chose not to link if you haven’t done so yet.