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Just two weeks into the new financial year and more than a million Australians have already filed their tax returns. This is the highest ever number of returns, this early in the financial year, as households struggle with the pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rush for returns comes as the Australian Tax Office (ATO) extends its working from home shortcut method until the end of September, to coincide with the end of JobKeeper.

Under the scheme, Australians working from home can claim a flat-rate deduction of 80 cents per hour for running costs, equipment depreciation and expenses such as phone and internet.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg stated on Sunday, “Year-to-date lodgements, which cover all forms of tax return as well as previous years, had reached 1.2 million by July 10. This was a 10 per cent increase on the same period last year.

"Millions of Australians across the country are set to benefit again this tax time from the government’s tax cuts.

"It means people can keep more of what they earn, providing a much-needed boost to the household budgets," he said.

Last year there was a surge in early tax lodgements as people sought to access the enhanced low- and middle-income tax offset.

The offset ranges between $255 and $1080 for people earning between $37,001 and $126,000. By the end of October, $24.2 billion of refunds had gone out to taxpayers, a jump of almost 30 per cent on the same period in 2018.

The government expects more than 4.3 million people will get the full payment, of which 1.3 million are in NSW and 1.1 million in Victoria. Mr Frydenberg said more than 10 million people would gain some benefit from the low- and middle-income tax offset.

Please call in at your local TaxAssist Accountants for help and advice with any of the above.

July 2020

Last updated: 14th July 2020

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