Etax Frequently Asked Questions

The most common questions about are answered below.

We hope these FAQ’s give you a clearer understanding of Etax Accountants and the tax agent service we provide at If you have a question we haven’t addressed below please visit the contact us page or email us on; we’ll be happy to respond.

We are happy to answer any questions and want you to be as informed as possible before submitting your tax return.

Why should I do my taxes at

  • Maximise your refund and deductions: A qualified accountant will check your return before it is lodged to the ATO. We’ll often identify additional areas for extra deductions which can increase your refund.
  • Confidence: Most Australians (71%) use a tax agent like and surveys show the #1 reason is: “Having the confidence my return is done right.” Our qualified accounting team checks your return before lodgement – two times – helping you avoid ATO troubles.
  • Faster Service and Lodgement: No need to leave your computer! You can ask your Etax Accountant questions at any time via email, digitally sign your return, make online payments and we lodge your return direct to the ATO on your behalf.
  • Faster, more accurate refund estimate: Use our online tax return to enter your details. At any time during the process simply check the top right-hand corner of the page to see our real-time tax calculator in action.
  • Easy user interface: We have a simple user interface that works on Windows / Apple / iPhone / iPad / Android mobile. You needn’t download any software – everything works in your web browser.
  • Extensive help system: At every stage, you have access to help from the professional Etax team.

The online tax return at is a fast, easy way to complete your Australian tax return. has been Australia’s favourite online tax agent service since 1998 and we are committed to high quality and superior service. As an added extra, we offer free tax advice all year round to make your life even easier! Our qualified accountants have decades of training between them and will help put you in the best tax position this year.

What if I have forgotten or lost my password?

Click here to reset your password: Password & Login Help

If you prefer, you can also email with any questions or ring us on 1300 693 829.

What is the difference between and the Australian Tax Office E-Tax? is Australia’s favourite online tax return service – fast & easy, with expert tax agent advice. The ATO’s E-Tax is not online – it is government software installed on your computer. was created in 1998 by Etax Accountants, a family-owned, registered tax agent and CPA-qualified accounting practice. Our main goals are to maximise your tax refund, make taxes easier and help you ensure you lodge accurate, trouble-free tax returns. is upgraded and improved every year, along with the excellent service provided by the Etax Accountants Team. is a complete service including the latest technology in an easy online tax form plus live support and advice from real accountants.

On the other hand, the ATO’s E-tax is simply a federal government-owned software program which must be installed on your computer before it can be used. For more details and a full comparison visit this page listing differences between the ATO E-tax and Etax Accountants’

Do I have to pay when I lodge my tax return?

No! You can authorise us to take the very reasonable fees from your tax refund when it is issued by the ATO. To do this, you need to select “Fee from Refund” when you are on the payment method page. Please note, the final amount you receive will be less that our original estimate (after the fees are subtracted from your refund). The Fee From Refund service charge is just $27.50; please see below for details of tax return fees.

How much does a tax return cost?

No fees up-front!
If you’ll receive a tax refund this year, no fee is required until the ATO issues your tax refund.
(Choose the ‘Fee From Refund’ option).

  • We offer a low income service from only $38.50*
  • Classic Tax Returns start at just $55.90
  • Fast Etax Returns start from $67.90Australia’s favourite online tax return service, improved again for 2015!
    (the same low fee for years – an average coffee has increased more in price than our tax agent service, yet our service improves every year!)
  • Business Tax Returns start at $167.90

The optional Fee From Refund service means you can lodge your tax return – with the help of a qualified accountant checking that your return is lodged correctly – and pay nothing at the time of lodgement. The Fee From Refund service charge is just $27.50; very affordable compared to other tax agent services that take a big fee plus sometimes even a percentage of your actual refund. The Fee From Refund service charge include a refund processing fee of $19.80 and a trust account clearing fee of $7.70.**

More complex tax returns with special schedules will have additional fees per added schedule: CGT, ETP, FTB, CCR, Baby Bonus or Rental schedule fees are $24.90 each.

“Can my fee change?” If your return is adjusted after you sign and before lodgement, including the necessary addition of schedules or other information you provide, additional details your accountant collects from the ATO, or tax agent review corrections that change the structure of your return, your fee may be adjusted accordingly.

No additional fees are charged for tax agent support, advice and reviewing of your return.
* Available to low-income Centrelink benefit recipients with no additional income sources and taxpayers under 18 years of age on 30 June of the tax return year (must select Adjustment item A1 in the tax return item selection).
**If the ATO amends or withholds your tax refund, the Fee From Refund service charge is not waived because we still incur additional costs administering and following up your return, using qualified staff.

What is the difference between a fast and classic tax return?

Fast Etax is the quickest way to lodge your tax return.

  • It includes our newest tax return system that lets you select the sections you need – and skip the rest.
  • Mobile and tablet friendly.
  • Improved help and instructions – easier to read, easier to follow.
  • Includes our Pre-filling feature (we add ATO data directly into your return to save you time, when ATO data is available).
  • NEW: The Etax mobile app for iOS and Android lets you snap receipts and documents and save them into your return, plus finish your return and check messages from your accountant, all on your mobile device. Learn more about the etax mobile app.

Classic Etax  is our traditional online tax return and involves more reading and more manual data entry without automation or prefilling. It has been replaced by the new and improved Fast Etax return, however we have kept classic Etax for clients who prefer to continue using the old system.

What does pre-filling mean?

Pre-filling means that we can automatically add information to your return based on the data the Australian Tax Office already has on file, if available.

The ATO generally knows more about your tax return than you realise. By tapping into this information, we can save you time hunting for details plus help prevent audits and other troubles later, by helping you to lodge a return that meets the ATO’s expectations and requirements.

This means up to 80% less data entry for you! Simply review the pre-filled information is correct and add any other details (such as deductions) – we’ll do the rest.

Is my personal information safe and secure? holds an EL-SSL security certificate authorised by Thawte. This ensures that your information is electronically encrypted using the most secure, stable technology.

To put it more simply, we use the same security measures as your online banking service does.

For more information please visit our security and privacy page and online safety tips.

You can click the Thawte logo to verify the Etax SSL certificate or use an independent security check tool such as

How do I know if my return was successfully lodged?

You can check the date and time of your lodgement by logging into your return and selecting ‘My Status’ at any time. Our online tax system works in a similar manner to an online bank account: You can log on anytime and view actions on your return, fees due, the status of your return and any other relevant information.

What services and support are included?

Payment to Etax Accountants for your tax return includes:

  • A review of your return by a CPA qualified accounting practice: Our accountants check your return before lodging often discovering additional deductions and rebates that may even cover the cost of your return.
  • Compliance review of your return: Performed by a registered tax agent, this reduces your chance of being audited by the ATO.
  • Prompt lodgement: We’ll submit your tax return as soon as you authorise us to do so.
  • Fast Refund: An accurate, error-free tax return helps ensure a fast refund. Most of our clients receive their refund in as little as 10 days after we lodge to the ATO (depending on the ATO’s processing time – note in 2010 the ATO caused longer delays for some taxpayers).
  • Free Answers: Our professional and highly qualified accountants provide answers to your questions at any time.
  • Free tax refund calculator: At any stage of the process you can view our live tax calculator in the top right hand of your screen for an up-to-date estimate of your tax refund or payable.
  • Extension of Time: Our service also includes liaising with the ATO for an extension of lodgement beyond October 31st if this is what you require.

I don’t have a credit card, is there another option to pay for your service?

Yes. We accept multiple forms of payment including cheque, cash, money order or our fee from refund option. More details are available on the payment section once you login to your account.

Can I complete my tax return with Etax Accountants next year, or in the future?

Yes! The Etax online tax return is updated each year to take into account changes to the taxation system. The details you enter are maintained in our secure database for the following year – meaning that next year your return will be faster and easier.

What will I need to lodge my return at

To complete your tax return you will need the following:

  • Your Tax File Number
  • Group Certificates for all jobs
  • Interest Statements (incl. bank interest)
  • Information about any Dividends
  • Details about any Other Income
  • Details of your Deductions including work-related expenses or charitable donations
  • A summary from any private health policies
  • Some details about your spouse’s taxable income and taxes

If you are uncertain about any of this information or what you need to include, simply email us on or fill in your query on the contact us page.

Do I need to physically sign any paperwork before my return can be lodged?

When you complete your tax return can digitally sign your return, at the ‘sign’ step in the online tax return. This means there is no need to sign a piece of paper or send a physical copy of your return to Etax.

You should however, print a copy of your signed return, sign it and keep it in your own records.

Do I need to send my group certificate to Etax?

Between 01 July and 15 July, yes: If you attach your PAYG it will speed-up the processing of your return. –> In the Fast Etax return you can attach your PDF file or even a mobile photo of the document. Just click the ‘attach’ buttom to the right of the income section.

After 15 July, there is usually no need to attach a copy but if your accountant thinks it will speed up your return, we’ll ask you for a copy.

Please remember, you do need to keep your records for 5 years from October 31st or, if you lodge later, 5 years from the date you lodge your return. This is a requirement of federal tax law.

If at any time you are in a dispute with the ATO, you must keep your records until the dispute is resolved or five years from your lodgement date, whichever happens latest.

Are you a CPA certified accounting practice?

Yes! We are a CPA certified accounting firm and one of our qualified accountants will always check your tax return before it is lodged with the Australian Tax Office. If they require further information, we will contact you via email or phone before lodgement. Please note as any information we require from you needs to be in writing, it is important you regularly check your email during the tax return process for any communication from us.

How long will it take me to complete my tax return with Etax?

For most of our clients, the tax return at will only take only about 15 minutes to complete. Our qualified accountants then review your return and will suggest extra deductions and offsets that may be available to you, if applicable. The ATO normally processes returns within 10–14 days of lodgement. Please note by ‘lodgement’ we are referring to when Etax Accountants send your return to the ATO, not when you submit your return to us. Prevent delays by responding to emails and messages from Etax quickly – our accountants may need to clarify some details to help improve your tax return. Please add to your email address book – this helps prevent urgent messages getting lost in your spam filter.

Can I lodge my first tax return with Etax Accountants?

Yes. It is fine to lodge your first tax return with us. Please don’t hesitate to ask us tax questions at any stage via our contact us page or email We encourage taxpayers to ask as many questions as possible and are always happy to help.

Do I need to keep a hardcopy of my taxation records?

Federal tax law states you must keep your records for 5 years from October 31st or if you lodge later, five years from the date you lodge your return. If at the end of this period you are in dispute with the ATO, you must keep you records until any dispute is resolved.

When can I see the tax refund estimate?

After you enter your basic details, register your TFN and income details, look at the top right hand of the tax return screen for an updated tax refund estimate. Each time you enter a new amount anywhere in the tax return, the tax calculator will automatically update to take your latest change into account.

Do I have to send in a hard copy of my return to Etax or the Australian Taxation Office?

No. There is no need to send a copy to either Etax Accountants or the ATO. Simply print and sign a copy and keep it for your own records for a minimum of five years.

When is the last date I can submit my tax return?

You must lodge your tax return with Etax Accountants by October 31st each year. Alternatively if you have enlisted Etax as your tax agent before October 31st, the Etax team can request an ATO extension for you.

Why do I have to pay HELP (formerly HECS) in my tax return when I have already paid it during the year from my pay?

Your HELP debt repayment is not known until you lodge your end of year income tax return, because it is calculated from your annual taxable income. You are liable for a HELP debt repayment if your adjusted taxable income exceeds the minimum repayment threshold. Your tax refund estimate will only account for your HELP debt if you added your HELP information correctly. If you’ve made payments or salary deductions through the year, the ATO views this like a ‘down-payment’ on your taxes. Later, they will compare those payments with your tax return and decide whether you need to pay more – or get a refund.

Ready to do your tax return?