I submitted my first Australian tax form. In Australia, the tax year is from July 1 to June 30 unlike the American tax year of January 1 to December 31. Even with taxes, Australians have to be backward. Another strange tax thing, is that instead of filing as a married couple, you file individually. While that may have its benefits, it is also very confusing because they still ask for information on the other person plus the questions aren’t as straightforward and easy to navigate through.
Back in the States we usually bought TaxCut and did our taxes ourselves. Here there is something called eTax. It’s free to use and you can submit electronically. The problem with that is, as I mentioned before, the questions aren’t clear and concise as the American version. With TaxCut, the question usually corresponded with a number on your W-2 or it told you where you could find the answer. The Group Certificate (Australian form of W-2) looks fairly simple and direct but when it comes down to actually filling out the questions on the eTax it gets complicated – well, at least for us. At the end of the program, it let us know how much I was getting back (which was 0, because I didn’t make much) but for some reason I had to pay like $4 in some Medicare thing, meanwhile it clearly said if you made less than a certain amount you don’t have to pay this levy. Apparently we had answered a question incorrectly and while the program was aware I didn’t make enough to pay the levy, it wasn’t smart enough to take the charge away so it was a pain in the ass to fix. The same happened to MJ but instead of charging $4, it was charging him about $80 – so we had to fix that because he didn’t make much either during these last 6 months. In the end, I didn’t have to pay anything but I’m not getting anything back and MJ didn’t have to pay anything but he should be getting a nice return soon and I learned a bit about the Australian tax filing system.
You know what sucks though, we will have to file taxes twice every year for the rest of our lives most likely. Australia in July and US in January. Apparently the US has a requirement that even though you may not live in the country but as long as you remain a US citizen wherever you live, you have to complete American taxes too! Great, as if my life wasn’t complicated enough!