ATO rolls out myTax to sole traders and contractors for the first time

Some small business owners are expected to have an easier time submitting their tax returns, with the Australian Tax Office opening up the federal government’s “myTax” portal to sole traders and contractor from July 1.

MyTax, which is part of the government’s centralised myGov portal, has been unavailable to sole traders and contractors since it first launched in 2014.

However, the ATO has now expanded the eligibility criteria for the service.

Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan flagged this change – along with a dedicated online portal for businesses – in July last year.

Small Business Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said in a statement sole traders and contractors can look forward to a more streamlined process when it comes to completing their tax returns from July.

The Minister said, with the expanded eligibility, more than 3 million individuals and sole traders are expected to use myTax to lodge their returns this year.

“Sole traders and contractors will be able to access new online tools to assist with more complex parts of their tax return, for example personal services income, depreciation, and the small business income tax offset,” O’Dwyer said.

Des Caulfield, director of taxation at MGI Adelaide, told SmartCompany this is good news for sole traders who want to do their tax return themselves and complete it online.

“For those small businesses that want to do that themselves, it’ll certainly be much easier,” Caulfield says.

“The intent of what the tax office wants to do is certainly understood and, for some people, it will be very good.”

However, Caulfield points out that many small businesses will still choose to have an accountant oversee their paperwork.

“If they’re a tradie, they’re busy being a tradie, they’re not necessarily wanting to get too tied up in paperwork,” he says.

“Some people wouldn’t be utilising it [myTax] anyhow.”


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Cassandra Scott
Cassandra Scott
5 years ago

Is the ATO actually committed to increasing the awareness and the role of Registered Agents in the whole compliance process, or is it just lip service? Initiatives and promotions using the “DIY” mentality, continue to undermine and dumb down the perception of the value that Registered Agents bring to business owners, whether they be sole traders and contractors, or larger enterprises.

I’m sure that if the Govt suggested that anyone could write their own prescriptions, and self diagnose illness, that there would be an uproar from the medical community.

Whilst it sounds glib to draw a parallel between medical and financial professions, they are both equally exposing an individual to significant risk if not administered correctly.

5 years ago

The ATO would LOVE self employed to use that services. At every line and every schedule you will be confronted with the ATO’s very limited interpretation of what is an allowable deduction, which is normally not drawn from any established tax law.

David Lake
David Lake
5 years ago

As an accountant I cannot wait until this industry is disrupted. Practices charging $200+ an hour for a return that their Uni Cadet completes whilst being paid under $30 an hour. Oh yes, the accountant then runs their eye over it for 15 minutes and run some pretty reports using an integrated tool and there you have it. Scam, but small business does not have too many alternatives so they will keep paying, for now anyway.