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The Tax Office today reminded Australia’s 11.8 million taxpayers to start getting ready to lodge their tax returns.                                                                                                

Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo said the Tax Office has a range of information and assistance available to help people meet the 31 October 2009 deadline.

“From 1 July, people can prepare and lodge their return online using e-tax, which is free, secure and easy to use software which in most cases processes your return within 14 days.

“As well as calculators, help screens and links to rulings, you can also download information from third parties directly into your tax return, including payment summaries, government payments such as pensions and allowances, bank interest and private health insurance details.

E-tax can be accessed free of charge 24 hours a day, seven days a week from our website at www.ato.gov.au,” Mr D’Ascenzo said.

Government and third party information will be available to download progressively from 1 July. You can subscribe to an alert service within e-tax which will let you know when the information becomes available.                                                                                                                                                                                         ato

People can still lodge using TaxPack 2009 or the short tax return for individuals 2009.

TaxPack 2009 is available from most newsagents, Tax Office shopfronts or the Tax Office website from 1 July.

If you used the short tax return last year you’ll receive a copy in the mail shortly.

Mr D’Ascenzo also reminded people to contact their tax agent as soon as possible.

“If you’re using a tax agent for the first time or using a different one from last year you need to contact them by 31 October 2009,” he said.

“Only registered tax agents can charge a fee to prepare and lodge a tax return.

“However some people present themselves as tax agents when they are not.

“Registered tax agents are regulated by the Tax Agents’ Board and have the qualifications and experience to handle your tax affairs.”

Visit the Tax Agents’ Board website http://www.tabd.gov.au or call 1300 362 829 to check if your agent is registered.

Compliance focus

We cross-check tax returns against a wide range of data including financial institution data, state and territory revenue and property sales information and Australian stock exchange data.

Help and assistance

If people have questions or need assistance they should visit the Tax Office website www.ato.gov.au or phone the Tax Office on 13 28 61 between 8.00am and 6.00pm weekdays.

The Tax Office can provide you a more personalised service if you provide your tax file number when you call.

source  :  www.ato.gov.au

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Channel Nine has announced an Australian version of The Apprentice will be made, to be fronted by Wizard Finance creator Mark Bouris.   donald_trump_story

To be produced by FremantleMedia Australia, it’s a surprising move given the franchise is now several years old and hardly considered “hot property” anymore. It’s been some time since we’ve seen The Trump on free-to-air, and even Seven’s attempt at the UK Apprentice, with Alan Sugar, didn’t exactly light up our screens either.

So can a local version work? FremantleMedia at least has a good track record at Australian adaptations of international series, including MasterChef Australia, Australian Idol, The Biggest Loser and Project Runway Australia.

Nine also found that its local version of Ladette to Lady did quite nicely, thank you. But in this game there are no guarantees.  Neither Australian Survivor or Celebrity Survivor, which like this format are both Mark Burnett franchises, worked in Australia.

It will also be risky launching a show that has succeeded with its wealthy excess in a time of recession.  But most reality shows hinge on their casting. Mark Bouris is offering the winner of the local series an executive position in his financial-services firm company, Yellow Brick Road on a cool six-figure salary.

To be part of my team you will need to understand the concept that everyone has financial dreams, and that this is something that all Australians are entitled to, he says. “In many cases owning your own home and a comfortable retirement is ultimately what people want. For me empathy is really important and I’m not interested in an apprentice who only wants to look after the top end of the financial spectrum.  Being in my team means that you will want to help both.”

If you are aged 18 and over from August 1st and available for filming from July to September then you’ve met the first two criteria for auditions. You can apply for the show until Friday July 3rd at www.ninemsn.com.au/apprentice.

The show is due to screen later this year.

Source  :  http://www.tv.com/story/15621.html

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