Fastest way to get your tax return
We now know the perfect monetary incentive to get Australians to complete tedious chores such as a tax return. About $1000 should kick us into action.
The Australian Taxation Office had 88 per cent more tax returns lodged on Monday than at the same point last year, with the recently passed lower to middle income tax break spurring people to get organised.
The Coalition government's $158 million tax cuts package was passed through the Senate with bipartisan support late last week. It means those earning between $48,000 and $90,000 will be gifted an offset of $1080.
"A lot of people have been getting their tax returns in early. There's been a big spike in tax returns launched compared to last year and clearly the main reason for that is the tax offset," H&R Block tax expert Mark Chapman told news.com.au.
So, what's the fastest way you can get your bolstered tax return so you can book that midwinter break?
"It's quite simple, you just lodge a tax return," Mr Chapman said.
The ATO will typically send out a cheque two weeks after lodgement, but the H&R Block tax expert says this can also be processed within a few days.
"That offset will either boost the size of your refund if you're in a refund position, or if you have a tax bill then you will reduce the amount of tax you'll actually have to pay," Mr Chapman said.
"Make sure you've got all of your income information, so the information from your employers, banking interest you might have received, dividends.
"Basically, any income you've got, make sure you've got it."
WHO GETS THE TAX BREAK?
More than 10 million workers will receive a tax offset to some degree, while around 4.5 million will score the full lump sum.
Under the package, all low and middle income earners making less than $126,000 a year will qualify.
HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET?
Under the Government's proposal, the low and middle income earner tax offset will be doubled for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years.
It means singles can get up to $1080, while dual-income households could net up to $2160 per year.
Use our tax cuts calculator to figure out exactly how much you can expect.
WHEN WILL IT ARRIVE?
As early as next week, for those who have already lodged a tax return.
For the rest of us who are less organised, the payments will arrive over the coming months.
HOW DO I GET IT?
It will show up automatically in your account - meaning you won't need to do anything to claim it, even if you've already lodged your tax return before the package officially passes.
WHAT'S THE HOLD UP?
The Coalition's tax package comes in three stages.
The first stage is a cash refund of up to $1080 after individual taxpayers file their tax return.
The second, aimed at fighting "bracket creep", will raise the top limit of the 19 per cent tax bracket from $41,000 to $45,000 from 2022/23, while the low income offset will also be increased from $645 to $700.
Stage three involves dropping the 32.5 per cent tax rate to 30 per cent from July 1, 2024 - meaning all workers earning between $45,000 and $200,000 would be on the 30 per cent rate.
The Coalition claims the package means an Aussie with an average taxable income of around $60,000 would be more than $15,000 better off over a decade.
The package took a while to be passed because Labor supported the first two stages - and wanted the second stage to be brought forward - but it did not support the third, arguing the rollout date was too far off for the parliament to decide on now.
But the Opposition abandoned its proposed amendments last week, saying its highest priority was "to get more money into the hands of more workers, sooner".