97 Posts

MyGov, Australian Taxation Office and Single Touch Payroll

Posted on July 23, 2019 by Amanda Mitchell

MyGov is a website which provides secure online access to government services, such as Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support, and My Health Record.

To setup a myGov account visit https://my.gov.au/, select Create an account on the homepage and follow the instructions on the screen.

Once you have a myGov account you can then link to the ATO by selecting the Services tab on your myGov home page and then selecting Australian Taxation Office.  You will need to provide the following information to identify your ATO record:

  • your name
  • your tax file number
  • your date of birth

Next you will need to confirm your identity by answering two questions specific to you, using information contained in two of the following:

  •  a notice of assessment received in the last five years
  •  a PAYG payment summary received in the last two years
  • a super account statement from the last five years
  • a dividends statement from the last two years
  • a Centrelink payment summary from the last two years, or
  • your bank account details. If you choose to use your bank account to confirm your identity, it must be an account you had your individual income tax refund paid into last year, or one that has earned interest in the last two years.

When linking your myGov account to the ATO it will automatically select the default that all future ATO correspondence will be sent electronically to your myGov account, even if you have a tax agent.  You will be sent a text message and/or an email, depending on your profile settings, from your myGov account advising when it receives any correspondence from the ATO.

If you lodge your Income Tax Return through a tax agent, you will no longer receive your Notice of Assessment from ATO through your tax agent instead it will be sent directly to your myGov account.  Please make sure you that when you receive the text message and/or an email advising that there is mail waiting for you on your myGov Account to log in and check the correspondence as it may be a time sensitive matter.

Your myGov Inbox will keep your letters, statements and messages safe, secure and in the one place. You can get notices from:

  •  Australian Taxation Office
  •  Centrelink
  • Child Support
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • Medicare
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme

You will also be able to update your address and contact details in your myGov account which will then change those details on all your linked services, instead of having to contact each service individually.

If you have an ABN, you can also link this to your myGov account so that you can receive ATO correspondence in relation to your ABN through this service, such as activity statements.

The reason that the myGov account and linking with the ATO has become a hot topic of late is due to the ATO introduction of Single Touch Payroll (STP), which is the new way of employers electronically reporting payroll and superannuation information to the ATO.

Under STP, each time your employer pays you your wage, your year-to-date payroll and superannuation information will be updated in your myGov account, if you have it linked to the ATO service.  Please be aware that it may take a few days for your myGov information to be updated after your employer pays you.

At the end of the financial year, your employer will check all the data sent through to the ATO via STP system and then finalise the STP data.  Once your employer has completed this step then your payroll information will display as ‘Tax ready’ in ATO online via your myGov account.  This document is now called your income statement and replaces the PAYG Payment Summaries (or group certificates).  Your employer does not have to give you an end-of-year payment summary for the information they report through STP.

Currently not all employers are required to be reporting their payroll information through the STP system. If your employer has not commenced using STP reporting, you will continue to get a PAYG payment summary from them.

If you have any questions in relation to the Single Touch Payroll or accessing the ATO information, please contact our office on (08) 9316 7000.

What options do you have if you disagree with the ATO’s notice of assessment?

Posted on July 25, 2019 by Francis Soale

You are permitted to object against an ATO’s assessment of your tax position if you disagree with the result.

Once you have thoroughly reviewed the ATO’s notice of assessment and believe it to be incorrect, the first step of action is straight forward and relatively informal.

If you believe the details to be inaccurate, please contact us to review your assessment. If after our review, we confirm that the assessment is incorrect, or if you can provide us with additional information that may change your position, we can lodge an amended income tax return with the ATO.

If the ATO disagrees to your amended assessment, we can then lodge an objection on your behalf (advising why we do not agree with the ATO’s disagreement). We can also lodge an objection if the ATO amends an assessment and has taken a different stance to us on particular items, such as, if we believed you were eligible to claim a full deduction but were allowed only part of it.

Objections are required to be made in writing and to include all the details regarding each decision we believe to be incorrect. The objection also includes where appropriate, references to legislation, rulings and/or case law examples. Any additional documents and information supporting the objection would also be included with the submission to the ATO.

From here an ATO case officer is assigned to the objection who will review the original decision made by the ATO, for objectivity the case officer is generally not involved in the original decision. We will then be informed of the outcome in writing (referred to as an “objection decision”).  If you are again, still not satisfied with the decision, the next step is to request for an independent external review of the ATO’s actions and its decision in relation to your tax assessment.

The independent external review can often be a costly process depending on the complexity and length of the review, so you need to consider the value of taking this next step.

Tax laws specifically give you the right to go to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (the tribunal) or the Federal Court of Australia for a review of the ATO’s actions and/or decisions. When the ATO advices of its objection decision, they will also explain how these independent external review options differ. You will then have 60 days from the date of this decision notice to seek a tribunal or court review.

When taking up the tribunal or court route option the burden of proof is on the taxpayer, not the ATO. You will need to go into the tribunal or court hearing able to prove that your view of the tax outcome is the correct one, and support this view with evidence, documents, and comprehensive technical analysis (which GeersSullivan can assist with).

The tribunal is slightly more informal than a court hearing, however, it’s powers are still substantial enough. It can confirm, vary or set aside the ATO assessment. You can represent yourself or be represented by lawyer, and there is an application fee, which would be refunded if the hearing goes your way. Again, if you are not satisfied with the tribunal’s decision you can then appeal to the Federal Court.

From here things become a lot more formal at the Federal Court level. You will generally require legal representation and there are a lot more fees (filing fee, “setting down” fee and daily hearing fee, as examples). That being the case you want to be sure the claim is worth pursuing.

After this level of intervention, the next steps up the legal ladder are the Full Federal Court and then the High Court – but these are rare options for most taxpayers, on top which these courts will not grant every appeal that is requested.

If you do not agree with your ATO notice of assessment or have any questions in relation to an ATO assessment, please contact our office on (08) 9316 7000.

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