The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Peter Dutton

Peter Dutton

Minister for Revenue and the Assistant Treasurer

27 January 2006 - 3 December 2007

Media Release of 09/05/2006

No.018

Tuesday 9 May, 2006

TAX RETURNS MADE EASIER

Preparing a tax return will be made simpler and easier in the future through the use of electronically prepared tax returns with online access to information.

The Government is providing the Australian Tax Office (ATO) with additional funding of $10million over two years to accelerate the programme of allowing taxpayers to download various components of their income directly into their e-tax returns.

The ATO run trials in 2007-08 and 2008-09 will allow taxpayers to download dividend distributions from share registers. The trial in 2007-08 will be available to individual taxpayers using e-tax. If successful, the ATO will extend the trial in 2008-09 to tax agents using the tax agent portal.

The use of e-tax has been steadily increasing, with approximately 1.37 million taxpayers using it this financial year. Trials of electronic data provision using health expenses and Centrelink benefits data have been well received. The ATO is expanding the programme in 2006 to include the ability to download Child Care Tax Rebate information from Centrelink records (including making this information available to tax agents) and a trial to download bank interest amounts from the major banks.

Providing taxpayers with the ability to download tax information directly into their e-tax returns makes preparing a tax return simpler and easier by removing the need for taxpayers to enter this data manually.

Media Contact: Brad Emery (02) 6277 7360


Supporting Information

Why is this important?

  • Providing taxpayers with the ability to download tax information directly into their e-tax return makes preparing a tax return simpler and easier for taxpayers by removing the need for taxpayers to enter data manually. This will reduce time and paperwork.

Who will benefit?

  • Taxpayers who have access to e-tax will be able to benefit. The use of e-tax has been steadily increasing, with approximately 1.37 million taxpayers using it this financial year and trials so far have been well received.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • This measure is expected to cost $10 million over two years from 2006-07.

What have we done in the past?

  • The ATO has previously trialled downloading information on Centrelink payments, and medical expenses recorded by Medicare Australia. In 2006, the ATO will trial providing taxpayers with the ability to download bank interest amounts from the major banks.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • The ATO will investigate running trials for dividend distributions in 2007-08 and 2008-09.