By Garrett Douglas
Governments can be slow in adopting new technologies and ideas when it comes to dealing with the services for its citizens. The Australian Government is no exception. It can be a time consuming and costly exercise when dealing with large bureaucracies.
Australia’s answer to this is myGov. MyGov allows users to link and access information and services from many government departments as well as a way they can communicate with you. Some of the services that can currently be link to a myGov account include:
- Australian JobSearch
- Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
- Child Support
- Department of Veterans' Affairs
- My Aged Care
- My Health Record
- National Disability Insurance Scheme
MyGov has been around since 2009. This may surprise some as you may never have heard about it before, or only recently due to the government’s push to get people signed up. All the available services in myGov may not be applicable to you, but if you earn a wage, have super, run a business or receive government assistance then the myGov service will be of benefit to you.
myGov for Employees
This is especially important for those on wages as the introduction of Single Touch Payroll (STP) has done away with payment summaries or group certificates of the past and replaced them with an “income statement” that can be accessed via myGov. Once the financial year finishes employers then have until the 31st of July to finalise their payroll figures, which means that you will need to wait for this to be done to complete your tax return. If you are already on myGov you will receive a message when your employer has marked your information as being tax ready. With STP employers are now required to lodge payroll data with the ATO each time a pay run is done which allows you to access year to date information that will include wages, tax withheld and superannuation payments.
myGov and Superannuation
The ATO service within myGov now allows you to check on your superannuation accounts. This will allow you to see your current superannuation funds, including those that you may have forgotten about, their balances as at a certain date, if there have been recent contributions and if any insurance is held in that fund. This is useful information to know as myGov also allows you to transfer superannuation balances with a few clicks if you have multiple funds. So, if you join your employers default fund every time you start a new job you can transfer old funds to your current one to avoid the fees associated with owning multiple funds. Care should be taken when doing this as you may have funds that have insurance you may want to keep or additional benefits that are unique to that fund.
myGov for Businesses
For business owners the ATO service on myGov allows you to lodge and check BAS’s, lodge taxable payments annual reports and access the super clearing house and lodged STP data if you have employees. You can also view outstanding lodgements and debts, update your details and view communication with the ATO. For sole traders all your personal and business information can be accessed under the one sign in.
myGov and Centrelink
If you don’t enjoy the long lines or hold times with Centrelink, then linking this service to your myGov account could save a lot of hassle. The Centrelink service allows you to do many tasks that you may usually do over the phone or by going into a centre. This includes making and viewing claims for assistance, managing and viewing payments, updating personal information, reporting income and uploading documents Centrelink may ask for. So, whether you are currently receiving government assistance or are looking to apply then myGov could help simplify this process.
MyGov has become a one stop shop for your government related information and needs. This is a great initiative by the government to ease your dealings with them. If you require some assistance setting this up or would like some more information on the features of the myGov service, then please speak to your accountant or give us a call on 9841 1200.
Lincolns pushing up for headspace
By Thomas Warner
This month 12 of our team are taking part in the Push Up Challenge. This sees them complete 3,185 push ups over 21 days in July to raise awareness for mental health and funds for headspace.
The target of 3,185 push ups represents the 3,185 people who lost their lives to suicide in 2017. Did you know that 45% of Australians will experience a mental health issue at some point in their life? It is not limited to young Australians or males or females and as such our team have jumped on board to support a great cause.
As part of the challenge we also invited Andrew from headspace Albany to come and talk to us about the work that they do in our local community and who they support. Headspace Albany offer support and services to young Australians who are between 12 and 25 years old.
Our team are just over half way through the challenge and have already completed 1,289 push ups. Have a look at some of the places we have found time to do our push ups. Keep an eye on our Facebook to see where we push up next.