Done with Tax

"Everyone has a dead line this week", I joked about in the Bible study group on Sunday. Students have their assignments due this week (last week before the exams over here), and I have my tax return to do. Actually, I have two to do as I also have to do the tax return for Vivian, but that's another story.

Anyway, the task was completed just past mid-night last night, leaving me a whooping 24 hours ahead of schedule. Yupee! Although these guys are still getting it down ahead of me. Maybe I'll try not to procrastinate next year. Maybe.

There are more surprising improvement on the etax software this year. Although it is still a VB app that runs exclusively on Windows, there is no way I am going back to paper-based submission again. Well done ATO! At least it made me not feeling that bad after discovering there's still more tax to pay for my last financial year. Anyway, things I like are:

  • Import interests from major banks. Just put in your account number and it fetches the right amount for you, over the Internet.
  • Import managed-fund related values from fund managers. Also only your account number is needed. Currently only Colonial First State is supported, but it is already a huge improvement.
  • Managed fund worksheets. That's a big plus -- most fund managers are already giving investors instructions "putting this value into this field", but are always referring to the field number on the paper-based tax return form. This year etax allows you to just map values to field numbers, skipping all that accounting jargons -- even engineers can do it! It also adds up the amount for you if you have multiple funds.

I still think importing data from previous year's etax file, and depreciation worksheet is genius, although they have been available for a while. Saving me lots of time going through spreadsheets, receipts and credit card statements to figure out how much depreciation can I claim.

One thing that always puzzled me though is, since ATO already knows my interests, managed fund/trust info, capital gains, etc through my Tax File Number, why can't they just develop an etax app that has one single click "Calculate My Income"? It should work for 95% of the cases, shouldn't it?