Let’s cover the most common questions people ask about the online tax return service at Etax.com.au
We hope these FAQ’s give you a clear understanding of Etax Accountants and the tax agent service we provide at Etax.com.au.
If you have a question that’s not covered below, please visit the contact us page or email us on [email protected]; we’ll be happy to respond. The Etax team is ready to answer your questions and we want you to be as informed as possible about your tax return.
When can I lodge my 2018 tax return?
The short answer is basically, “You can lodge in July”.
The 2018 tax return is available at Etax.com.au in June, for ATO lodgements that start on 1 July 2018.
Need to lodge early? That’s possible, but only in special circumstances such as people leaving Australia and no longer being Australian residents.
Your 2018 tax return is for income that you earn between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018.
Click here to learn more about the tax return 2018 including dates, details and early lodgement rules.
Why should I do my taxes at Etax.com.au?
- Maximise your tax refund and tax deductions: A qualified accountant will check your return before it is lodged to the ATO. We’ll often identify additional areas for extra deductions that can increase your refund.
- Confidence: Most Australians use a tax agent like Etax.com.au. Why? Surveys show the #1 reason is: “Having the confidence my return is done right.”
- Amazing online return with live help and new features based on your suggestions.
- 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 online or by phone, digitally sign your return, then we review your return, check details, get back to you with any questions, 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 online help tools plus direct help from the professional Etax team (on live chat, phone or the secure “My Messages” inbox).
The online tax return at Etax.com.au is a fast, easy way to complete your Australian tax return. Etax.com.au has been Australia’s favourite online tax agent service since 1998 and we are committed to high quality and superior service. As an added service for our clients, 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 forgot my Etax password?
Click here to reset your password: Password & Login Help
If you prefer, you can also email [email protected] with any questions or ring us on 1300 693 829.
What are the opening hours of the Etax Service & Support centre?
Office Hours (All times are AEST. Etax is based in Brisbane, Queensland)
Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Please note that the Etax support and accounting team will be on holiday from 23 December through 2 January (which is the same as the ATO holiday closed period).
The Etax Service and Support Centre is staffed by qualified accountants. They are happy to help finish your tax return and answer your questions.
You can access your tax return online, 24 hours, every day at www.etax.com.au!
What is the difference between Etax.com.au and the Australian Tax Office’s e-tax or myTax?
Etax.com.au is Australia’s favourite online tax return service – fast & easy, with expert tax agent advice. Etax.com.au was created in 1998 by Etax Accountants, a family-owned, registered tax agent and CPA-qualified accounting practice.
At Etax our main goals are to maximise your tax refund, make taxes easier and help you ensure you lodge accurate, trouble-free tax returns. To put it more simply, at Etax we want to make tax returns awesome for Australians, with no worries and uncertainties.
Etax.com.au is a complete service giving you 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” was a government-owned software program that had to be installed on your computer in order to do a tax return. The ATO’s e-tax download and install process had to be repeated every year. The old ATO e-tax is no longer available; it was retired by the ATO after 2015. Now they offer a similar self-preparation method called myTax.
Using ATO myTax, you are completely on your own. On your own figuring out what to enter and what to claim. On your own if you get an amended notice of assessment. On your own if you are audited or investigated by the ATO. That’s why 74% of Australian tax returns are done with a tax agent like etax.com.au – it’s simply better when you have an accountant on your side to make everything easier and to help improve your tax refund, without risking ATO trouble.
For more details and a full comparison visit this page about the differences between the ATO myTax and Etax.com.au.
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 at Etax? The low Etax fees are explained here:
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).
- Fast Etax Returns start from $68.90 ⇒ Australia’s favourite online tax return service, improved again for 2018 with better tax-saving features and support!
- We offer a low income service from only $38.50*
- Classic Tax Returns start at just $64.90
- Business Tax Returns start at $167.90
Etax has very low fees (or no fees!) for items that most tax agents will charge you for…
Deductions (that help boost your tax refund)—no extra fees. In fact, our accountants will help you find extra deductions – and their help is free as well.
ETP (Employee Termination Payment)—no extra fees!
CGT (Capital Gains Tax)—no extra fees!
Rental Schedules—just $24.90 for the first one, and only $9.90 for additional ones.
The optional $27.50 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 is very popular and convenient, and also it is very affordable compared to other tax agents that take a big fee plus sometimes even a percentage of your actual refund.**
More complex tax returns with special schedules will have additional fees per added schedule: FBT or CCR 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.
Overdue prior-year returns will have slightly higher fees of $95.90, because our reviewers and accountants need to refer to prior years’ ATO rules and ensure each return is compliant for the year of lodgement, plus we will negotiate with the ATO on your behalf if your late return has penalties or taxes owing. Your base fee is stated on the signing page of your return.
No additional fees are charged for tax agent support, live chat, advice, re-checking, accountant review and fast electronic lodgement 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.
- NEW – Shows you last year’s deduction items, saving you time and helping avoid missed deductions (for returning Etax clients).
- NEW – Your tax return will show you popular tax deduction items used by people with the same type of job as you, helping you remember valuable claims that can boost your refund!
- NEW – More help content shown right in your return. Watch for blue linked bits of text right in the item descriptions; just click them to see extra information.
- Mobile and tablet friendly. (Available for many common occupations and we’re adding new ones as fast as we can.)
- 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 use the older 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 Etax safe and secure?
Etax.com.au holds an EV-SSL security certificate authorised by Digicert. This ensures that your tax return 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.
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?
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 Etax.com.au?
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 [email protected] 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.
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’ button 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.
Is Etax.com.au 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?
If you have any questions you can get live help from an accountant, on live chat or phone – no appointments needed.
After you add your basic details, qualified accountants 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 [email protected] 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 easy 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 [email protected] We encourage taxpayers to ask as many questions as possible so they understand Australian taxes and we are always happy to help.
Do I need to keep a hard copy of my tax records and receipts?
Federal tax law states you must keep your records for 5 years from October 31st (or if you lodge late, 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.
However, if you store your tax records in your return at Etax.com.au – either by using the “attach” buttons or by snapping photos with the mobile app – then you don’t need to worry about keeping paper copies. We will store your electronic copies for as long as the ATO requires them.
It is never necessary to print or store your Etax.com.au tax returns and attachments. You can access them online anytime in the future.
When can I see the tax refund estimate?
After you enter your basic details, register your TFN and income details, look at the top of the tax return screen for an updated tax refund estimate. Each time you enter a new amount anywhere in the tax return, such as a new deduction or some extra income you received, 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?
When is the tax deadline?
Please lodge your ATO tax return with Etax Accountants by October 31st each year.
Alternatively, if you have enlisted Etax as your tax agent before October 31st (or if you used Etax last year), the Etax team can request an ATO deadline 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.
Can I get a same-day tax refund or instant refund?
Your tax refund should only take an average of seven to fourteen days from lodgement until it’s in your bank account. That’s pretty fast.
If you can’t wait that long, there are better ways to get some fast money. Be careful about anyone who’s offering you an “instant refund”, because these promotions usually have hidden fees, interest charges and ‘surprises’ that can cost you lots of money. At Etax, we want to see you avoid that kind of trouble.
If you need your tax refund in a big hurry, we strongly suggest that you should read this page about instant tax refunds.