A group certificate is also known as an income statement or payment summary, and it’s pretty important.
A group certificate summarises the amount of income you’ve earned throughout the financial year, as well as the amount of pay that has been withheld from your pay and the amount of super your employer has to pay you. In addition to this, your group certificate contains information about your salary, bonuses, commissions, leave and overtime.
Why is a group certificate important?
A group certificate (which is now usually called an Income Statement) is mandated by the ATO, and it is necessary to complete your tax return and make any claims you may be eligible for. The ATO also uses this information to make sure they are aware of the tax bracket you fall into. Your group certificate shows your annual earnings plus the amount withheld by your employer for tax purposes and the amount of super you are to be paid.
You can see your group certificate at any time throughout the year, but once your employer has finalised the information, your certificate will be marked as “tax ready”. Your group certificate is essential, so don’t leave it until the last minute. Without it, you won’t be able to complete your tax return.
How to access your group certificate
You likely won’t receive a copy of your group certificate if your employer uses STP (single touch payroll), but you can find it on MyGov. Sign in to MyGov, select the Australian Taxation Office, find the Employment tab, and then find your group certificate under Income Statements. If you cannot access your group certificate, ask your employer.
Your employer is obligated to provide you with a group certificate by July 14th. If you need one earlier, you must request one by the 9th of June. Make sure you do this in writing so you have documentation of your request. If you request one early, you will get one up to 14 days after your request.
How to use your group certificate
Now that you know what your group certificate is and how to access it, it’s time to use it to complete your tax return. It’s better to wait until the information on your group certificate is finalised by your employer. When this is done, your group certificate will be tax ready.
The information on your group certificate will be pre-filled into MyTax. Double-check this pre-filled information and make sure it’s correct before submitting. If information is missing or incorrect, contact your employer. If all else fails, you may need to culminate the necessary information from your payslips and other records from the last year. Don’t submit until your group certificate is deemed tax ready, otherwise you may need to make amends and may have to pay more tax.
If you use an accountant or a registered tax agent, they’ll have access to your group certificate and can complete your tax return for you.
If your group certificate is finalised and tax-ready, you’re all set. Sit back and wait for that tax return money to come back into your account!