Hripsime Demirdjian (pictured) who is the founder of Australian accounting firm Hive Wise, warned people not to lodge their tax returns on July 1

Australians have been urged not to rush to file their tax returns if they want to avoid running into issues down the line.

Tax expert Hripsime Demirdjian, who is the founder of Australian accounting firm Hive Wise, warned people not to lodge their tax returns immediately after July 1.

Ms Demirdjian said in a TikTok video uploaded last week that employers have until July 14 to provide important payroll data to the ATO (Australian Taxation Office).

Anyone submitting their tax return before that date could therefore be under-reporting their income – as it may not match up with the figure their employer later provides to the ATO. 

‘If you go and lodge your tax return on July 1, you will be basing it off incomplete and unfinalised payroll data,’ Ms Demirdjian said. 

This could lead to a tax return being reviewed, which in turn may lead to the person filing the tax return owing the ATO money.

Ms Demirdjian also warned those with investments tied up in accounts such as managed funds to wait even longer. 

‘The information for those investments for the financial year are not even available until the end of August and September… sometimes even later than that,’ she said.

Hripsime Demirdjian (pictured) who is the founder of Australian accounting firm Hive Wise, warned people not to lodge their tax returns on July 1

Hripsime Demirdjian (pictured) who is the founder of Australian accounting firm Hive Wise, warned people not to lodge their tax returns on July 1

She also addressed a common misconception that lodging a tax return early will help people get a better return. 

Significant deductions such as work-related expenses and expenses that haven’t been claimed by an employer can boost the amount of money people get back.

‘If you don’t have either of the above, then it’s unlikely that you will receive a big refund,’ Ms Demirdjian told news.com.au 

Ms Demirdjian also warned the ATO has become more adept at recognising inconsistencies in financial data lodged by an employee and their employer. 

Lodging a late payment or failing to account for all income and expenses can incur significant additional fees.  

‘To make matters worse, if the amendment occurs after the due date of your tax return, you’ll end up paying interest on this late payment as well,’ Ms Demirdjian said. 

‘The ATO is currently charging interest at an eye watering rate of 11.36 per cent’.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Rob Thompson said the tax office is keeping a close eye on working from home expenses. 

Ms Demirdjian also addressed a common misconception that lodging a tax return early will help people get a better return (stock image)

 Ms Demirdjian also addressed a common misconception that lodging a tax return early will help people get a better return (stock image)

Mr Thompson said some people claimed their expenses twice on their tax returns, which he said resulted in incorrect deductions being provided in their forms. 

‘One thing we’re focused on this year is making sure that people don’t double dip, so they don’t claim things like their internet or their phone expenses separately if they’re using that fixed rate method,’ he told the ABC. 

‘People need to keep a record of all the hours they’ve worked from home for the whole year. That can be a time-sheet… whatever the person wants that works for them.’ 

Almost nine million Aussies claimed around $24.5billion worth of work-related expenses last year with claims related to working from home expenses. 

The average claim made on working from home expenses was around $3,000.

How to lodge a tax return?

Tax returns must be completed each year by October 31 either online through mygov or the ATO app. 

Tax returns can also be lodged in paper forms or by requesting a registered tax agent to file the paperwork on your behalf. 

Anyone lodging a tax return needs to make sure they have all the relevant financial information available. 

This includes an income statement or payment summary, receipts and/or payments for expenses that will be claimed as deductions, and a private health insurance statement. 

Salaried employees will need to wait until their employers mark their income as tax ready before they complete their tax returns.  

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