To coincide with National Youth Week, which was held earlier this month, the Australian Tax Office is urging all young Australians to sort their super and start saving.
ATO Deputy Commissioner Steve Vesperman says the best place
to get assistance is the ATO
App for smartphones and tablet devices, which can be downloaded free from Google
Play, Windows Phone Store and the Apple App Store.
‘It puts all the tax and super info you need in the palm of
your hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you conduct your super and tax
affairs on the go,’ he said.
The ATO has an easy way to apply for a Tax File Number
(TFN), which is necessary for anyone using the tax system. Without it ‘employers
and super funds withhold tax at the highest marginal rate, and it makes paying
tax, applying for student loans, opening a bank account and dealing with other
government agencies much more difficult, says Mr Vesperman.
To get a TFN, simply complete an online form on the ATO’s
website, download the summary and take it to one of 480 participating post
offices with the required ID. You also require a TFN to apply for a loan under
the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) or Trade Support Loan (TSL) program,
when you start work and lodge a tax return.
More than 1.15 million people under the age of 25 have a
taxable income, so it’s important that they get a handle on their tax. Around 45%
of 18- to 35-year-olds have more than one super account, each of which
could be costing them up to $500 a year in fees. The ATO is encouraging those
with multiple accounts to combine into one preferred account. The ATO’s John Shepherd says that those relatively new to
the workforce often have a number of jobs and open a new super account at each
‘Some accounts include an insurance entitlement which is
cancelled when the account is closed, so remember to check this before you consolidate,’
said Mr Shepherd.