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Thinking about the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) doesn’t usually conjure much excitement, but heck there’s a first time for everything!

To coincide with tax return season, a raft of changes have been introduced for 2012-13 lodgments.

Mac users will rejoice – for the first time e-tax will be available for Mac as well as PC. What’s more, the ATO has also launched e-tax for mobile devices.

Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan said that the ATO has made its service delivery more contemporary for the 12.4 million Australians who will lodge a tax return this year.

“Doing business on mobile devices and online is nothing new and it’s what the community expects. That’s why we’ve focused on delivering a mobile app, digital magazine, and an improved website to help people this tax time,” Commissioner Jordan said.

The new app, ATO Tax 2013, is available free from the Apple Appstore and Google Play. It provides information on lodging your return, answers frequently asked questions and allows users to monitor the progress of their return.

Taxtime magazine is also available from app stores and provides an interactive online alternative to paper tax return instructions.

In a nutshell the product changes mean a more user-friendly experience – all the information a person needs to lodge their tax return is available to them online. There’s even links to new YouTube videos to lessen the burden of wading through wads of written information.

Other key changes announced by the ATO include:

  • For the first time the ATO will also require taxpayers to include details of their spouse’s income.
  • It is now mandatory to provide a bank account for electronic payment of refunds.

Taxpayers have until 31 October to lodge returns or register with a tax agent.

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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