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Everything you need to know about the MyGov ATO App



Recently, the Australia Tax Office (ATO) has put great investment into helping business owners and employees access, track and lodge tax information online. One of their newly refined, free products is the subject for us today - the ATO smartphone app.


This handy application has been available for some years but has recently had a new upgrade, making it easier to use than ever.

We're taking a deep dive into this tool that puts tax and super help in your hands, making it easier for you to conduct and manage your affairs on the go.

If you're an individual taxpayer, small business owner, or self-managed super fund trustee, you can start using this tool to easily access relevant tax and super information, lodge receipts, set reminders, and much more. Today, we'll show you all of the useful features offered, and how to access them.


Note* We highly recommend first downloading the ATO app to walk through its features while reading on. Access the download link directly here.

It's also important that you have an active myGov account so you can access all of the available features within the app.


Individuals vs Business overview


For Individuals

  • Log in to access ATO online services;

  • Search for lost super;

  • Record and manage your car trips, work-related expenses, gifts and donations and the cost of managing your tax affairs using the myDeductions tool; and

  • Watch videos, access checklists and calculators.

For Businesses

  • Log in to access ATO online services;

  • Calculate the amount of tax to withhold from salary and wage payments;

  • Check an Australian business number (ABN) using ABN Lookup;

  • Work out key dates and, depending on your device, set important reminders and alerts for tax and super obligations;

  • Use the Business performance check tool to compare your business with similar businesses in your industry using the latest Small business benchmarks; and

  • Watch videos, access checklists and calculators.





Tax Returns



Have you been stuck in the middle of an ATO online tax return, with no idea why it won’t let you click to the next step? Tax returns can be daunting and confusing, which is why the ATO has worked on making your lodgement much easier by adding this feature to their app. It has been formulated to minimise the chance of error and guide you along the way to help rectify some of those tricky questions. This feature also enables you track the progress of the return so you can take action when needed.

Using this feature you can easily:

  • Check pre-fill information received from third parties and work out if you're ready to lodge

  • Understand the options available to prepare and lodge your tax return

  • Check the progress of your tax return

  • View the outcome of your return and easily view your notice of assessment.


Deductions


Whether you lodge your own tax return or use a tax agent, the myDeductions portal can help you keep and organise your tax records. The app was designed to help keep track of work-related expenses throughout the year.


What you can track:

  • Deductions/expenses;

  • Vehicle trips;

  • Income (if you're a sole trader); and

  • Photos of your invoices and receipts.


It’s a fast, easy way to capture information on the go. Once you finalise records for your tax return, you can email the data directly to yourself or your tax agent, to then upload, store and use to pre-fill your tax return, regardless of whether you self-prepare or use a tax agent.


MyDeductions is a separate application that can be quickly accessed from the link on the ATO app home screen without the need to login, saving you more time.


Note* Records added are stored locally on your device and are only sent to the ATO if you upload your completed records to your tax return, so it's important to ensure your data is being backed up regularly in case your device is broken, lost or stolen as this isn't an automatic process.


Super


The ATO app also allows you to keep track of your super. You can quickly, easily and securely:

  • View all of your super accounts reported to us, including accounts that you may be unaware of or have lost

  • Explore account balances and view superannuation information and actions that are personalised to your circumstances

  • Access ATO Online to consolidate eligible accounts (including any ATO-held super) into one account


Note* You will need to have a myGov account linked to the ATO to access this feature.



My Personal Details


Locate your tax file number easily. You can also access ATO Online to keep your key personal and business details on file, and up to date.


Search an ABN



Use the ABN lookup tool to search for any Australian business’s ABN, and view other available public information about the business.


This is a handy on-the-go feature to check if a business you're purchasing goods from is registered for GST, as you can claim GST credits!



Business Performance Check



Finally, a free feature that gives your true insight into your competitors! This is an invaluable tool for any business owner to compare your performance to other small businesses within the same industry.

Here you can track how your actual performance sits against competitors in your industry from a quick and easy step-by-step financial analysis. The business performance check tool:


  • Uses annual small business benchmark data from over 100 different business types

  • Can estimate annual performance based on as little as one month’s data (the more data, the better accuracy)

  • Allows you to compare the cost of goods sold and expenses with similar businesses

  • Provides financial performance ratios including management of debt commitments and working capital

  • Compares subsequent reports in the tool with previous financial results to monitor any variations in performance.



Tax Withheld Calculator


You can use the Tax withheld calculator to quickly from the home screen to check how much tax should be withheld from your total earnings, salary or wages. This is a fantastic tool for employees who are unsure if they are being taxed correctly.



Registered Agent Details


Hired a new tax agent? Check the details of your registered agent and communication preferences on the ATO App. It’s extremely important when engaging a tax agent that you confirm that they are registered, a fast way to check this is through here.


Lodgement and Payment dates

If you struggle to keep track of key dates in your own calendar, the ATO app is a helpful tool. It allows you to view in real-time when your lodgements and payments are due, and seamlessly action them all in ATO Online.


Conclusion


The ATO app is free, fast, and as you can see, very easy to use. It's definitely one of the handiest smartphone applications for any working Australian, with a range of features that are useful to both individuals, sole traders and small business owners alike. Our bookkeeping team recommends this tool to all of our clients to ensure they're up to date and compliant on the go.

Still not sure if it's for you? Why not try downloading, and sampling one of their features. See how easy it is to track your expenses with a useful step-by-step video here.


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