10 Things To Keep In Mind This Tax Season
Updated: Jun 5, 2019
It’s time to do your taxes! With the elections behind us and the end of financial year drawing ever closer, it’s now time for the big “Tax Day”. After all, the 30th of June is just around the corner.
We understand how daunting, complex and no doubt “taxing” it can all be. There are several things you must keep in mind. You may face challenges and confusion, and there can be big or small hiccups on the way.
This is where our list will help you. We have jotted down 10 things that will make it easy for you to navigate the times ahead. Additionally, we are also giving away a handy checklist that you can download and apply.
1. Don’t wait till the last minute
Get an early start. Or, start as early as you possibly can to avoid last-minute panic and rush.
Lodging your tax is easier when you have everything you need, ready and sorted. So, staying organised is a priority. Keep copies of your bills and receipts, payment summaries, bank statements, income statements, investment statements, receipts for gifts, donations or other work-related expenses, child support payments and pension statements.
2. Donate to your favourite charities
Did you know that every donation you make over $2 to a registered charity is tax deductible?!
Donating money is a great way of supporting a good initiative as well as saving on your tax dollar. The amount you donate is claimable on your tax return.
To be clear, you don’t receive the entire sum straight back. The amount you donate is subtracted from your taxable income and you get a percentage back. It is still a win-win!
3. Leverage negative gearing
Negative gearing can be a powerful strategy to manage your tax liabilities. Understand and use it properly.
Negative gearing refers to the situation when the cost of borrowing exceeds the income generated by the investment. This extra cost can reduce the tax you pay on your other income.
4. Consider making extra contributions
Consider making extra contributions to super. It can be a very tax-effective way to save.
By making personal contributions to your super fund you can potentially claim the amount as a tax deduction and reduce your taxable income. Contributions made to the fund are usually taxed at a concessional rate of around 15% as compared to the marginal rates (of up to 47%) that would otherwise apply.
We highly recommend that you seek personal advice and counsel from a trusted adviser before making decisions that impact your super and super contributions.
5. Stay abreast of tax code changes
Each year, thousands of people miss out on the deductions they could have claimed. All that adds up to a lot of money that ATO gets to keep and that you don’t get back as tax refund.
Stay informed of tax code changes. Keep a track of all your deductions. And use the policies to claim everything you are allowed to.
6. Get professional help
Think of all the time and energy you get to save with professional help. And you can look forward to improvements in your tax refunds too.
It is recommended that you go with a trusted and registered tax agent or accountant. You can check if the agent is registered on the tax and BAS agent register. Agents can help you maximise your tax refunds.
7. Dedicate separate time for taxes
Spending time doing your taxes all at once can be strenuous. That is why we suggest that you put aside 20-30 minutes every week to organise yourself – update the logbooks, maintain the receipts and tally the registers.
By inculcating these simple habits and putting in consistent work, you will always be organised to a fault and never miss out on any deduction again.
8. Leverage tax tools and software
Technology can aid you in organising yourself better and in automating tasks. Use Australian-made software or apps that are designed for use in Australia. These tools will include features that don’t need adjusting for our policies.
For example, ATO's myDeductions app makes record keeping easier. The tool allows you to record deductions. It also lets you store photos of receipts and record car trips.
9. When in doubt talk to ATO
The Australian Taxation Office provides a range of services to suit different needs. Talk to them about your tax doubts.
ATO can also assist you with your enquiries into GST and super, issuing activity statements, reporting progress and status of your lodgements and helping you apply for a refund of franking credits.
10. Streamline the process
It’s all about planning and organisation. Once you have your process sorted, filing your tax returns can be an incredibly easy and satisfying task.
Remember you are responsible for your claims, so make sure everything is legitimate. Use the resources we have provided. And let’s make tax season smooth and seamless!
General Advice Disclaimer
The information contained on this website and in this blog-post is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation or circumstance. It is recommended that you consider and use the information provided responsibly, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.
Although, every effort has been made to verify the accuracy and correctness of information, Oakmont Financial Group, together with our consultants, officers, agents, and employees, disclaim all liability for any loss or damage suffered by any persons directly or indirectly relying on this information.