ruddIf you haven’t lodged your 2007-08 tax return, get it in quickly because it will determine if you will receive, as early as April, the tax bonus announced today.

PICTURE: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd backed a winner at the Ballina RSL Club on Melbourne Cup Day in 2007. No doubt he’s hoping his latest stimulus package also is a winner.

Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo today announced that work is under way to ensure the Tax Office can start paying the Australian Government’s tax bonus from early April 2009.

The bonus is part of a new stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

“At this stage we believe most eligible people won’t have to do anything to receive the proposed payment,” Mr D’Ascenzo said.

“By using information in people’s 2007-08 tax return, we will work out who is eligible and the best way to get the payment to them.

“Most people have already lodged their 2007-08 return with us, but if you haven’t, don’t leave it any longer.”

The proposed tax bonus will only be paid to those who have their 2007-08 return in by 30 June 2009.

“Our e-tax service will remain available for those who want to do their own return online, or people should contact their tax agent,” Mr D’Ascenzo said.

“We will send the payment to the address or bank account people nominated as their preference for the 2007-08 tax return.

“You will get your payment faster if we have your bank account details.”

To ensure money goes into the right bank account or the cheque is delivered to the correct address in early April 2009, people should contact the Tax Office by the middle of March if they need to change address or bank details.

“If you have not provided bank details in your return, you may provide them now so that we can pay the bonus directly to your bank account. If we don’t have your bank details, we will send a cheque to your latest postal address,” Mr D’Ascenzo said.

“People can call the Tax Office on 1300 686 636 if they need to change or provide their details.

“Those who use a tax agent may also wish to use a different address or personal bank account for this one-off payment.

“If your agent manages payments and correspondence for you, we won’t necessarily have your personal bank account or postal address details.

“If you want us to make this payment into your personal bank account or send a cheque to an address other than the one you usually use through your tax agent, call us on 1300 686 636.

“Because many people use a tax agent, we are working with tax agent representatives to ensure the payments process works as smoothly as possible for everyone.

“We are setting-up a working group with representatives from across the agent industry.

“We will ensure more information and updates are made available to people, including more details on our website soon.

“Of course, the arrangements we are putting in place to make the tax bonus payments are contingent on the supporting legislation passing through Parliament.”

To find out more, including eligibility and how much people are entitled to:

Read about the tax bonus payment at www.ato.gov.au

Call 1300 686 636.