I bit the bullet yesterday and decided to lodge our tax returns via the Australian Government etax portal. Now this is the way that I usually do it but prior to now it has been the biggest pain in the bum as you couldn’t actually utilise the software on a Mac. This is problematic if you don’t have a PC.
Finally they have somewhat seen the light and made changes to the software to allow people to submit via a Mac or tablet.
They have seriously confused the already confusing and time consuming process by saying you HAVE to have a MyGov account to submit. This is problematic for two reasons.
- The MyGov website is not intuitive and hard to navigate – although this isn’t as true as trying to navigate the Centrelink website, seriously if anyone can actually find what they are looking for on that website you should probably do an I.T course and get yourself paid in the industry! It adds unnecessary steps to find what you are looking for and submit any changes to your circumstances.
- It is touted as a central log in to all your government accounts – 1 password to access your tax, medicare, centrelink etc. The problem here is that it is a whole lot of information contained in the one space about you, and people are concerned that this kind of centralised access has potential security issues. Plus you still have to have registered for all of those accounts online and have individual passwords and logins for each.
So what are you to do if you don’t want a MyGov account? There seems to be only two options (suck it up and get a MyGov account, or go to a tax agent and pay for your return to be done). If your tax return is pretty straight forward (ie you worked, paid tax, have a few things to claim and that’s it) then paying for someone else to do your return is an expense most people would rather avoid.
But there is a 3rd option – a way to do your 2014 tax return via etax and NOT have to register for a MyGov account.
How do you use eTax without MyGov? Here it is;
When you need to put in your mygov username and password (screen 340 for pre-fill, screen 8240 for lodgement), simply enter taxhelp as your mygov username and click the button below (Prefill or Lodge to the ATO) and you will then be offered the verification path used previously in e-tax. You’ll then need a Notice of Assessment (NOA) or shared secret details to proceed. (Thank you to the awesome people over on the Whirlpool forum for sharing this golden nugget of info!)
I was sceptical at first, but it worked for me! When the MyGov login page is there just enter TAXHELP as the username and leave the password field blank. Hit ‘next’ and you just verify yourself as you’ve always done before. Simples!
There really is no excuse for forcing people to register a MyGov account. I truly believe we should have an option to lodge directly with the ATO. If you want to make sure MyGov isn’t mandatory in 2015, ring 1800 199 010 and provide FEEDBACK (not a complaint) to that affect. Let them know you will lodge a complaint next year if there isn’t at least one way to lodge electronically without MyGov.
You can of course lodge with a certified tax agent (that costs $$$) or grab the tax pack from your local newsagent and lodge a paper form (free), but really in this day and age of technology, where every person and their kids have access to the internet (if you don’t then the public library offers computer use with internet access for free), it just seems ridiculous that a time consuming process is being made even more complicated by seemingly forcing people to have yet another account with another password and all our private info in one place – but you still need to have those other accounts with their own passwords to combine them in MyGov … *face-palm*
What do you think? Does seemingly being forced to register for a MyGov account bother you?