- Keep all relevant receipts - A recent CommBank study found that lost receipts are costing one in two Aussies an average $1,000 in tax rebates every year. Not only is it lost money, but taxpayers spend about 2.2 hours looking for receipts to support their return.
- Don’t wait til the last minute to get organised - Keep good records to claim every expense you’re entitled to. Have all the necessary information — group certificates, bank statements, receipts, travel logs etc — at hand. That’s especially important if you’re using an accountant, so your visits are time- and cost-effective. Don’t throw this stuff out after you’ve lodged your return, either. Keep it for five years in case you’re ever audited.
- Pay off debts ASAP – It makes little financial sense to invest spare cash and pay tax on the returns when you’re paying interest on loans at the same time. By using surplus money to pay off debts you’re saving yourself from paying interest and extra tax.
- Make a voluntary contribution to your super to receive the government co-contribution - If you're a low-income earner (less than $31,920) and make an after-tax payment to your superannuation, the government will match it up to $1,000. If you’re paid more than $31,920 and less than $61,920 you might still be eligible, but at a reduced rate.
- Pay any expenses that’ll attract a tax deduction before June 30 - For example, income protection premiums, subscriptions and any other work-related expenses.
- Visit www.ato.gov.au for useful info on what you can and cannot claim as a tax deduction. You can search the Australian Taxation Office website for specific occupations and industries to learn if there are extra things you can claim, like car expenses, stationery, self-education, donations and travel expenses.
- Claim all costs associated with doing your tax - All tax agents’ fees are deductible, as are related expenses, like travel to and from their office. Any costs taxpayers are subject to if the tax office decides to audit you are also deductible.
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