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The Government will provide additional funding of $20 million in 2007-08 to enable the ATO to pre-fill electronic individual income tax returns for the 2007-08 and following income years.

The pre-filling of tax returns will make completing income tax returns easier for around nine million individual taxpayers who use e tax or lodge their returns through tax agents. These taxpayers account for around 80% of all individual taxpayers. Nearly one million taxpayers will need to do no more than lodge their pre filled return electronically. Millions more will need to provide only a few additional pieces of information to complete their returns.

The ATO will automatically include the following information in returns:
- salary, wages and allowances, where the employer has electronically lodged the employee’s payment summary with the ATO;
- dividend and interest income and distributions from managed funds;
- payments from Centrelink, the Department of Education, Science and Training and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs;
- Medicare out of pocket expenses and private health insurance information; and
- Higher Education Contribution Scheme and Higher Education Loan Programme details.

The ATO will progressively pre fill this information as it is received. Most information is expected to be received by mid August. This information will also be available to tax agents to help them complete returns on behalf of their clients.

For a copy of the Treasurer's press release, No 2007/37, 8 May 2007, go here

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