Are you wondering about the differences between ATO E-Tax and Etax.com.au?
The Australian Taxation Office’s e-Tax software and the Etax.com.au online tax return are different in several important ways.
- ATO E-tax is government software that you download and install on your computer. (As of 2016, it’s not available anymore.)
- Etax.com.au is a true online tax agent service – you can access the secure website from any computer, anytime.
- Etax.com.au includes special features that save you time and provide useful information. Upgraded every year based on user feedback, for 2016 including deduction ideas based on your occupation, easier online help and information, improved auto-prefill (based on ATO data), easy view of last year’s return, fast section selector (so you can skip the bits you don’t need) plus an improved tax refund calculator that updates every time you add more information to your tax return.
- History: At Etax Accountants, we registered the domain name www.etax.com.au in August 1998 and we’ve been Australia’s favourite online tax return service ever since. Later, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) released their software named ATO E-tax.
- Etax.com.au includes checking and advice from one of the biggest tax agents in Australia… all at one of the lowest tax agent fees in Australia.
- Etax.com.au support is aimed at improving YOUR refund and helping steer clear of ATO trouble or delays with your tax refund. The goals of ATO’s e-tax and myTax programs is not clear, aside from being free.
- Reports have suggested that self-management of your tax affairs (incl. using ATO e-tax) may lead to lower average tax refunds than using a tax agent. That’s why most Australians prefer to pay a small fee… plus they get the peace of mind in knowing that trained accountants have reviewed their return and lodged it for them.
Did you know…
The ATO says 74% of Australians lodge their tax returns with a Registered Tax Agent—for good reasons.
The Australian Taxation Office released statistics to the media in 2016:
- Over 74% of all tax payers used a registered tax agent such as Etax Accountants.
- Only 26% of tax payers use the government’s e-tax or myTax or paper forms.
Some taxpayers believe that by going direct to the ATO they are saving money. Our experience is that people who lodge directly often miss important deductions and offsets that could save them money. The effect of this, year after year could be a lot of lost money for you as a taxpayer.
Missed deductions can add up. Different reports have shown that, over time, people who self-prepare their taxes using ATO systems pay around $1000 more tax than those who use qualified accountants like Etax. More interesting numbers direct from the ATO:
- 38% of tax payers donated to charity and claimed the donation as a deduction.
- 65% of all tax payers claim some form of work related expenses.
A tax agent like Etax.com.au is working on YOUR side, to help find more items to claim, boost your refund and avoid ATO problems.
This table highlights important differences between Etax Accountants (Etax.com.au) and the ATO’s e-tax software:
|Difference||Etax.com.au||ATO E-tax Software|
|Who uses it?||Over 70% of Australians use registered tax agents like Etax.com.au.||No longer available. To self-prepare a return with the ATO you must use myGov and myTax.|
|What is it?||Etax.com.au is a web-based online tax return system, accessible via a secure login from any computer that has a web browser, from any location.|
|Name||Etax.com.au is a website and online service registered by Etax Accountants in 1998.|
|Your Computer||The online tax return works on any computer with a web browser, including Windows, Apple Mac, tablets and even many smart-phones and mobiles.||E-tax was only for PC or Mac computers. Social media suggests that many people have trouble installing and running the software.|
|Ownership||Etax Accountants is a family-owned, CPA-qualified accounting practice and registered tax agent, serving Australian taxpayers for over 30 years. Our main goal is to maximise your tax refund.||E-tax and myTax are government-owned software created by the Australian Taxation Office.|
|Access||You can access Etax.com.au from any computer, laptop or other device, anywhere in the world.|
|Usage||The Etax Accountants online tax return runs entirely online and is always accessible.|
|Speed||Most people can finish their tax return with Etax Accountants in about 15 minutes.|
|Security||Your tax return details are protected by the same security systems and servers used by major banks world-wide.|
|Expert Advice||A qualified accountant will check your return for accuracy and further deductions before submission to the ATO. Need help? Your questions are answered by an accountant working in YOUR best interest – online, email and telephone.||Using ATO E-tax or myTax, there is no quality check before lodgement. If you need help, limited assistance is available. Australia's tax laws are notoriously complex.|
|Fees||Your tax agent fees are tax deductible.|
Fees start at just $38.50 for certain categories of taxpayers and $67.90 for the Fast Etax return including mobile access, uploads and improved help features. All returns include the highly-rated online system, tax refund calculator and live support.
|Using the ATO E-tax software was free of charge, with limited support and of course a tax agent's advice is not available.|
|Maximum Refund||Your tax return is checked to see if extra deductions or offsets are available – helping ensure you receive the maximum refund you are entitled to.||With no professional checks, using the ATO’s E-tax or myTax software could mean you won't receive your maximum possible refund.|
Here’s an infographic comparing etax.com.au and ATO e-tax software:
Your etax return could be finished in less than 15 minutes.
- Just complete what you can,
- finish the signing details, then
- an accountant will take it from there and help you get the best refund possible.
Your tax agent fees are tax deductible.
There has never been a better time to do your tax return at Etax.com.au. We look forward to working with you this tax season!