The Curse is Lifted


Thank the heavens.

Speaking of money… filling out a tax return using the ATO’s e-tax program, is super-easy, if you’re like me and don’t do anything complicated like getting married, running overseas companies, accruing capital gains, getting old, or joining the defence force. There is one item that makes me think NTGF is due for some tax breaks, but I’m not sure they count as Australian Films for the purposes of the return.

However, they STILL haven’t gotten off their arses and made a Mac version. It’s not a complicated program, it can’t be that hard. I wouldn’t mind so much if they didn’t rub salt in the wound by always listing under the “system requirements”:

Apple Macintosh… with suitable PC emulation software.

The best thing about tax returns is the surprise Medicare bonus that I always forget about. You’re getting near the end, and you’ve only managed to get back around $250 of your $1250 in tax, and then suddenly it turns out you don’t use medicare and they’ll give you $235. Every year I forget about that, and every year it’s a happy surprise.

Does everyone else (in Australia) do their tax returns online? Or do you still use that crazy paper crap? Has anyone never gotten around to filling one out? Have the ATO come for you and your first born?


8 Responses to “The Curse is Lifted”

  1. Also, I think someone at the ATO website is a Buffy fan.

  2. The money you get back on the Medicare bit isn’t cos you don’t use it – governments aren’t generally that nice to give you your tax back just cos you didn’t use the service. If they did, I’d want my part of the defence budget back cos I haven’t ever once used the army (or navy or air force for that matter). There is a 1.5% Medicare levy which most people pay, but if you earn under $15k or so you are exempt. Then there is a 1% surcharge that you only pay if you are particularly rich and don’t have private health insurance.

    I have always done mine online. It has always been surprisingly straightforward. The only complications I have had are a load of irrelevant (in that my answer won’t affect how much tax I pay anyway) but complicated questions cos I am in a de facto relationship and with my PhD scholarship. Apparently that doesn’t count on income, even tax exempt income, so I am not to mention it anywhere on the return. Not that I’m complaining. And the money always comes through quickly. All in all it seems to be particularly painless for a government bureaucracy. I guess things get more complicated when you have negative gearing, capital losses, fringe benefits etc etc.

    My favourite bit of the return is where you get to choose your title. Not just the usual Mr/Miss/Mrs/Ms and maybe Dr if you are lucky. You can be anything: Archbishop, Air Vice Marshall, Count, Lance Bombadier, Monsignor or His/Her Royal Highness. My personal favourite though has to be Swami. Swami Andrew Coulthurst. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

    I really need to work on posting shorter comments.

  3. Ah, that makes more sense. It did seem to be setting a disturbing precedent.

    The titles are great fun: Lance Bombadier Thomas Charman gives my name a certain gravitas, I feel. However I don’t see that it can beat the bit where I find out how much money I’m getting.

    Your comments are practically weblog posts in themselves. Incidentally, it’s clearly your responsibility to make the token post on the London bombings.

  4. I’m just gutted they pushed Shapelle and Warne off the front page of the Herald Sun. I’m also bitterly dissapointed the the main headline wasn’t “SEVEN AUSTRALIANS INJURED” like I was expecting.

  5. It seems a whole bunch of comments were lost in a server issue. Sorry. Not that it was my fault, of course.

  6. What about my eloquent posts? surely people that can rite real good u’no like me should’nt be punished like the rest of the iliterate web. its not fair

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