Tax return

Tax return usually refers to a form on which taxpayers make an annual statement of income, which is then used by the tax authorities to assess liability for tax. In the USA tax forms are filed with the International Revenue Service (IRS), in the UK with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), in Canada reports are filed with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and in Australia with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Considering the income tax return is based on the tax year, which varies from country to country, in each of the above mentioned countries it will be due on a different date.

When referring to tax return, people often use the form name. For example, in the UK an SA100 form is the official name for the self-assessment tax return.  The standard US individual tax return is Form 1040.

Not everyone is required to file an income tax return each year. The obligation is usually subject to the amount and type of income, age, dependents, etc. in accordance with related provisions of the income tax act.

Filling in tax returns can be complicated and rather time-consuming. Tax authorities usually issue a guide to filling in tax returns that give advice on who should be filling in what on the form. Howerer, if you are not a tax expert, that might not help much, and in that case people look to an accountant for help.

In some countries it is possible to e-file one’s tax return, that is submit the document online, provided you have registered on the tax authorities’ website and opened an e-filing account. If you are sending your tax return by post, it is advisable to send it by registered mail with a return receipt requested to make sure your form is received timely and accurately.

If the tax authorities establish that the taxes paid are more than one’s tax liability, the taxpayer will get a tax refund on their income tax. Tax  refund is usually paid through direct credit to the taypayer’s account.

Autorica: Jasminka Šturlić, prof. engleskog i talijanskog.

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