This year, as part of the new STP payroll system roll out, 9 million people didn’t receive a PAYG or Payment Summary at the end of the financial year. Instead, HR departments advised employees to get an Income Statement from the ATO.
With less than 1/3 of us ever wanting to go anywhere near the ATO’s confusing websites, this left the majority of us wondering, “Can I do my tax return without it?”
Yes, you can do your tax return without an Income Statement. Etax and other tax agents can access the information on your Income Statement directly from the ATO and enter it into your tax return for you.
So it’s not all bad. In fact, it’s one less thing to think about at tax time!
Is there a difference between a PAYG, Payment Summary and an Income Statement?
No. PAYG, Payment Summary and Income Statement are all just different names for a statement of your wages, super contributions, allowances and any other income you received from your employer each year.
So why do I not receive a statement from my employer anymore?
Because the ATO wants more people to use their own system to lodge tax returns. The exact reasons haven’t been made clear but unlike Etax and other tax agents, the ATO won’t tell you when you can claim a tax deduction for a deductible expense. As the majority of us aren’t experts in tax, a lot of expenses that should be offset against taxable income would stay in the ATO’s pocket. So, more revenue for the ATO does seem like the most logical reason for the changes.
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So how do I get an Income Statement if I do need one now?
If you do need an actual copy of your statement for any reason, we highly recommend you steer clear of trying to access it during the peak of tax time. Government websites are notoriously bogged with more traffic than servers and/or their systems can cope with. And just ask one of our accountants what it’s like trying to get a call through to their call centre!
Why? Well, you need to create a MyGov account then link that account to the ATO. This may sound fairly simple but as anyone with experience of government websites knows, it’s very easy to find yourself down a rabbit hole.
It goes something like this: First of all, if you share an email address with your partner, you need to create a new one for yourself. You enter all your personal information, including the text codes they send. To prove who you are, you then need to answer ‘secret’ questions from information contained in your prior year statements. So you’ll need to find these first. After all that, you ring a call centre and/or use a phone to get a code. It can take a while to get through, so make yourself a coffee before you start. Once you are sent the link, you use it to link one account to another.
Oh yes, don’t forget to make note of error numbers when you get error messages so you can follow the links for an explanation for what went wrong along the way! No, we’re not kidding; errors are so frequent the ATO actually include them in their instructions.
Aren’t you glad you don’t need your Income Statement to do your tax return?