by George Nott

ATO kills e-tax, expands myTax

Jun 06, 2016
GovernmentGovernment IT

The Australian Tax Office has retired its online lodgement tool e-tax and replaced it with myTax.

ATO’s assistant commissioner Graham Whyte said the new platform had been upgraded and improved since last tax time and was now suitable for any Australian wanting to lodge their own tax return – regardless of their tax affairs.

“In 2016, myTax has been expanded to do everything e-tax could do and more,” Mr Whyte said.

“For example, not only will Australians with rental properties be able to use myTax this year, but they will also be able to take advantage of the fully integrated tools and calculators. One of these new tools allows property investors to record depreciation and capital allowances.”

MyTax was introduced in 2014 and by 2015 ATO claims it was processing 1.75 million lodgements. That year there were complaints of slow load times caused by the weight of traffic around tax time. ATO is expecting to see three million myTax lodgements this year.

The e-tax software was first introduced in 1999 and for 15 years it was the only way for self-lodging individuals to lodge their tax return online.

Initially only compatible with Windows OS, a Mac OS version wasn’t released until 2013.

“We understand sometimes it can be hard to change habits, especially for those who have been using e-tax since its launch in 1999,” said Whyte. “What we would say to those who are a bit unsure about myTax is to give it a go: you’ll probably have your tax return lodged in a fraction of the time.”

New features to myTax include autofill of myDeductions data and messaging to guide users through the lodgement process. Users are first required to create a myGov account.

The latest iteration of myTax will be available on July 1.

Nearly three quarters of Australians seek the assistance of a tax agent to lodge their return, according to the ATO.