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.”