Happy EOFY! It’s the taxman’s Christmas, but as for the rest of us, it’s not quite as exciting as actual Christmas. Lucky for you, we’ve got a few tips to help you navigate the end of the fiscal year.
First and foremost…
Knowing what you need and having it ready before you begin is always a good place to start. It all depends on the person or business you’re preparing and lodging on behalf of. Be sure to have the following ready to go when the time comes… if they apply to you, that is:
- PAYG payment summaries
- Bank statements (detailing any interest you’ve earned and fees you’ve paid)
- Statements for shares, unit trusts or managed funds
- Buy and sell investment statements
- Records from your rental property
- Details of foreign income (pensions or otherwise)
- Private health insurance policy statement
Make sure you know what’s happening and when, especially if the when means something is due. Getting slapped with ATO fines because you lodged something a tad late is the “drunk uncle mouthing off about politics at the dinner table” equivalent to our financial Christmas. No one wants either, and both are extremely avoidable.
You’ll also find that certain things such as your super contribution payments may count towards your deductions if paid by a certain date.
PRO TIP: this to-do list is a good one!
Leading to the entrée…
Unless you’re reallllllly old school, or just like making things difficult for yourself, you can lodge your tax return online. Simply use myTax through myGov or through the ATO website itself. Please note you will need a myGov account to do this.
FUN FACT: did you know that if you wait until mid-August to lodge your tax return, the ATO will pre-fill most of the information from your employers, banks, government agencies, as well as other third parties for you? Meaning all you need to do is revise, enter your deductions, and submit. Too easy!
The due diligence…
Know what you can and can’t claim as deductions. For example, you can claim travel expenses between two workplaces, but travel expenses between work and home are a no-go. For a comprehensive list, have a look here.
We are so busy keeping our clients organised and you know how it is – you leave yourself to lucky last, if you’re anything like me and forget to claim half the deductions you know you’re able to because you’ve misplaced the paperwork, or maybe you’ve forgotten about them completely, then try the app myDeductions. It keeps track of your deductions throughout the year by doing things like saving photos of receipts and records of car trips. Quite the handy tool for individuals and sole traders who can use it to track business income. The beauty of it is come tax time, all you really have to do is send the info off to your tax agent or directly to myTax. Virtually no stress involved.
And there you have it. Four shiny pearls of tax-related wisdom. As always, stay honest between the designated spaces of the forms, aim to be punctual, and have fun with it… or at least as much fun as the law will allow you to have regarding your personal finances, business operations, and civic duty of monetary contribution.