My very first job was as a McDonald’s employee and as embarrassed as I am to admit that, I also know that much of my work discipline, attention to detail and thoroughness is due to my time in the Macca’s world. I was probably 14/15 and vividly remember opening an envelope to pull out my group certificate and wondering what on earth I was supposed to do with it. My manager said to me “you’ve only paid $75 tax, don’t worry about it” and I promptly filed the piece of paper somewhere very safe and forgot all about it.
Fast forward to a couple of years later when I realised that firstly – my manager was wrong. By following his instructions of “Don’t worry about it” I pretty much took $75 and threw it in the bin as I would have received the whole amount back. I decided to lodge my tax return to get my 5 hour shift equivalent refund in my bank but such is life, I could not find my group certificate.
I looked everywhere – pulled out every nook and cranny of my bedroom but it was missing. I really didn’t want to have to contact head office and ask for my group certificate but I had no idea what my options were. If only someone had been able to tell me this:
What to do if your payment summary is lost or late in getting to you:
If your payment summary is lost you may be able to get these details from your tax agent who has access to Australian Tax Office information or by registering with e-tax and viewing your pre-filling report.
If you are unable to get a copy from the payer, you will need to complete a statutory declaration. These are available here. The stat dec is your personal account of the information required to go into your return and can be used in place of the payment summary. It should outline the name of your payer, the amount of gross payments, tax withheld and the period your payments were made.
You’ll need to be able to reconstruct your records to determine the information you are going to put in your stat dec. To do this you should locate any payslips for the period, your bank records to show the deposits and any other information that may be helpful including hours worked, pay rates etc.
So – even if you are missing important information it’s not the end of the world, you can still lodge your return. I did end up getting my $75 refund and I’m sure I spent it on something very important to me at the time – like magazines or lip gloss.