Issue 224, April 2023
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 job.
‘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.
Source:email from the Australian Taxation Office, 14 April 2023.