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Telling tax tales: 1 in 10 Aussies have lied on their tax returns

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Millions of Australians acknowledged discrepancies in their tax filings, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,012 respondents revealed 1 in 10 (10%) Australians have admitted to lying on their tax return.

That's equivalent to 2 million Aussies who have been untruthful about work expenses or income on their tax returns.

The research found 5% made more deductions than they should have, while 3% didn't report overseas income.

A further 2% didn't report capital gains or their crypto earnings.

Sarah Megginson, personal finance expert at Finder, said tax season is fast approaching, and so too is the responsibility of accurately reporting your finances for the past year.

"Doing taxes can feel like a confusing puzzle, and many people are unsure what deductions they can do and how to handle the whole process.

"As living expenses soar, many will be looking for strategies to maximise their tax return this year.

"If you think you're not getting the most out of your return, make sure you educate yourself on what deductions you can use, and perhaps even consider using a tax agent."

The younger generations are more prone to lying on their tax return with 17% of gen Z and 15% of gen Y admitting to being untruthful about their finances, compared to gen X and baby boomers (both 5%).

Megginson said whilst it might be tempting to lie on your tax return, playing it straight is always the safest option.

"Even a mistake you didn't mean to make can cause trouble. Don't risk making things worse by trying to 'trick the system'.

"If you have a complex tax situation, leave it to the professionals. They can walk you through the process and make sure everything is filed correctly," Megginson said.

Have you ever lied on your tax return?
Yes, I made more deductions than I should have5%
Yes, I didn't report overseas income3%
Yes, I didn't report capital gains / crypto2%
Yes, I didn't do a household tax return1%
No90%
Source: Finder survey of 1,012 respondents, May 2024

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