News last week that changes to online tax lodgments will be implemented in time for lodging 2007 returns will no doubt be welcomed by the 1.6 million Australians currently using the service.

The fact such a sheer number of those jumping online rose by eighteen per cent from the previous year is indicative of the fact the changes couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.

Lodging a tax return online not only alleviates some of the inconvenience of having to declare in the first instance, but it generally translates to users receiving any returns quicker than those who elect to submit a hard copy to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Under the changes, users of e-tax will no longer have to scour through files and folders in search of generic banking information that previously had to be generated with each return – the system is now able to store this information and automatically load when needed.

The ATO has aligned its system to be in sync with at least 20 banks and credit unions, share registries and welfare agencies.

While some information will still need to be inputted by the taxpayer, the development comes as a win for taxpayers who’ve long suffered the tedious and often complicated steps demanded by lodging online.

From July 1 of this year, details relating to bank account interest, certain Medicare expenses, Centrelink payments and share dividends will no longer be an imposition on the taxpayer and their time, as the system will already have this stored and downloadable from the processing end.

Another drawcard for the online system is the reduction in the amount of paperwork involved, something more and more Australian’s are identifying with as public sentiment continues to cement towards the issues of climate change and global warming.

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