5 ways to make tax time easier

Most of us don’t look forward to tax time. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. By getting organised early, you can save time, claim all the deductions you’re entitled to — and even get your return paid faster.

Not looking forward to doing your tax? You’re not alone. While most of us dread the administration that goes with completing a tax return, it only takes a little bit of planning to make it much less of a hassle. Here are 5 things you can do today that will have you sorted come 30 June.

1. Create a system

It may not be exciting, but getting your tax organised starts with having a system. Start by filing your papers and receipts as you go.

Remember, you don’t have to have a filing cabinet or folders; you can keep good records by scanning or photographing all your paperwork on your phone to keep your desk clutter-free and avoid the risk of losing receipts.

Even if you do misplace or forget to keep some receipts, you can still claim up to $300 worth of employment-related expenses without documentation. But you can claim even more with evidence —so it pays to keep your receipts in order now.

There are plenty of apps that can help too, such as the ATO app, which is suitable for both individuals and small business owners.

2. Maximise your deductions

Unless you’ve been paying close attention to your tax, or have a great accountant, you probably aren’t claiming all the deductions you’re entitled to claim. This means you’re paying more tax than you legally need to, and missing out on getting money back. Worse, it could mean you’re paying a tax bill that you could otherwise reduce or avoid.

So it’s worth getting clear about what you can (and can’t) claim. Claims generally fall into the following categories:

  • Work travel expenses, such as taxi fares or airfares (travel to and from your normal workplace is usually excluded).
  • Special clothing, uniforms and laundry.
  • Expenses from income-earning investments, such as maintenance to an investment property.
  • Tools and equipment used for your work.
  • Subscriptions to relevant publications or services.
  • Self-education related to your current role.
  • Costs of a home office.

If you’re not sure, talk to your tax adviser or check the ATO website to find out exactly what you can claim this financial year.

3. Book in early

It’s a good idea to book in with your accountant now as after year-end is usually their busiest time. That way you’ll be first in line to submit your tax return, and get any money you’re owed back sooner.

Our in-house Accountants have the knowledge and expertise and are taking bookings now.

4. Contribute to your super

Tax time is also a great time to make an extra contribution to super, and take advantage of the tax benefits it can offer.

5. Get help

If you think your tax is going to be complicated, get professional help — after all, accountant fees are also tax-deductible. If you’re not sure, talk to your Accountant or check the ATO website to find out exactly what you can claim this financial Year. A financial Adviser can also help you make the most of tax time.

Disclaimer

Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.

The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way.

Soundbridge Pty Ltd trading as, Soundbridge Financial Services are Authorised Representatives GWM Adviser Services Limited ABN 96 002 071 749, trading as MLC Financial Planning an Australian Financial Services Licensee, Registered office at 105 –153 Miller St North Sydney NSW 2060 and a member of the National Australia group of companies.

This information has been prepared by GWM Adviser Services Limited ABN 96 002 071 749 AFSL 230692, a National Australia Group Company, 105-153 Miller Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 Australia.

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