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Tips To Make Your Tax Time Easier

Tips To Make Your Tax Time Easier

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There’s probably no avoiding it – if you are an Australian resident or business owner for tax purposes, you have to lodge your tax return. Getting your paperwork organised can feel challenging, but approaching with the mindset of “what can I claim for?” may make preparing your tax return more bearable. While everyone will have different things to consider, here are some tips on how you can get more prepared: 

Know your income 

If you are an employee, your income tax may have been withheld from your salary as part of the Pay As You Go (PAYG) scheme by your employer. Therefore, you should receive a Payment Summary or Group Certificate from your employer, at the end of the financial year, which will outline how much income you received and tax you paid for the previous financial year.

Other incomes include;

  • Super pensions, annuities and government payments
  • Savings and Investment income (including interest, dividends, rent and capital gains)
  • Business, partnership and trust income
  • Foreign income
  • Income from crowdfunding (for example donations received for a venture in which you intend to make a profit)
  • Income from the sharing economy (for example Uber or AirBnB)
  • Other income - including compensation and insurance payments, discounted shares under employee share schemes, some prizes and awards

Visit the ATO's website for more information on income you must declare. 

How to retrieve your interest statement through Reliance Bank Internet Banking

  • Log into Internet Banking
  • Click on Accounts then Interest
  • The interest you’ve earned for the financial year will be displayed on the statement

If you have any issues accessing your interest statements, please contact our Member Service Centre on 13 24 40.

Deductions/Expenses 

If you’re employed, you may be able to claim some expenses relating to your work and income. In general, expenses are claimable when:

  • You spent the money and weren’t reimbursed by your employer
  • The money spent was a work-related expense
  • You have an official record of the expense – such as a receipt, bank statement or diary entry like a travel log book (In some cases you may not have to show evidence if your total claim for work-related expenses is $300 or less)
  • If the cost was for both work and personal use, for example, home internet, you can only claim a portion of the expense.

Deductions/expenses you may be able to claim, if you meet the ATO’s criteria: 

  • Vehicle and travel expenses
  • Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses
  • Gifts and donations
  • Home office expenses
  • Interest, dividend and other investment income deductions
  • Self-education expenses
  • Tools and other work-related equipment
  • Other deductions like union fees, income protection insurance, overtime meals, etc 

Visit the ATO's website for more information on deductions you can claim. 

Deductions/expenses you cannot claim

  • Travel between work and home
  • Most Car expenses
  • Private travel
  • Meal expenses unless you were required to work away from home overnight
  • Everyday clothing
  • Self-education expenses
  • Higher Education Loan Program
  • Phones or internet which relate to private use
  • Tools and equipment that cost more than $300 

How to lodge your Tax Return

What you will need: 

  • Your Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Payment Summary/Group Certificate
  • Interest earned on your savings
  • Information on your investments
  • Medical expense receipts
  • Any Donations or contributions to charities
  • Work expenses receipts

Lodging your tax return yourself or use a tax agent? 

You can lodge your tax return yourself or get a registered tax agent to do it for you.

If you’re unsure of the Australian tax laws, have a complex tax situation or find paperwork overwhelming, an agent’s expertise may be invaluable. They may be able to get you a larger refund.

If you choose to do your tax return yourself, you can lodge it online using the MyTax platform. You will need a MyGov account first in order to lodge it online. 

Source: MoneySmartAU

These tips are general advice only. For advice tailored to your specific situation please contact the Australian Tax Office or talk to your tax agent.