Tough but fair

It’s getting harder to rip off the taxman. In days gone past it wouldn’t have been too hard to ‘forget’ about a bank account or the money received as cash payments when filling in your tax return. These days the tax office has some pretty sophisticated software for matching your income and deductions with records they have on file. This is because every time you give an institution your tax file number (TFN), they pass on your details to the tax office. If you don’t give your TFN when requested you will have lots of tax withheld automatically.

So this year, when you go to do your tax, remember that big brother is watching (and I don’t mean the really crap Channel 10 program, I’m talking the fair dinkum scary George Orwell type of BB). If you want to submit your return via etax (over the internet) you will find that most things asking for your income (like your salary/wage, interest and managed funds income) will already be filled in with the details that are sitting on the pieces of paper you have in front of you.

If you try to fudge, you will receive a polite but firm ‘Please explain’. If you can’t explain, or make amends, you risk being audited. In the end, this system helps all of us. If people can’t rip the tax system off, the government receives more money, which in turn leads to lower taxes.

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