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Tax Time 101

Relax! It’s not the end of the world, just the end of the financial year. To maximise your return and minimise the heartburn — it doesn’t have to be stressful! — we break things down in this beginners’ guide to tax time.
  • Don’t wait around until the last minute to get organised – start right now... well, at least after you’ve  read this article.
  • Maintain detailed records so you can claim every expense you’re entitled to, big or small.
  • Time is money, so have all the necessary information — like your group certificate, bank statements, receipts and log books — readily available. That’s especially important if you’re lodging your tax return through an accountant, so your visits are time- and cost-effective.
  • Keep all relevant receipts, even the ones you’re not sure about.
  • Pay off debts as soon as possible - you’re saving yourself from forking out extra interest and tax in the long run.
  • Make a voluntary after-tax contribution to your superannuation and you may be eligible to receive a government co-contribution, especially if you’re a low-income earner.
  • Pay any expenses that’ll attract a tax deduction before June 30. These include, for example, income protection premiums, subscriptions and any other work-related costs.
  • Find out whether there are additional expenses you can claim for your specific occupation and industry, like car maintenance, stationery, self-education, donations and travel expenses.
  • If you own an investment property, declare borrowing costs, body corporate fees, maintenance and repairs.
  • Go to the Australian Taxation Office website ( for handy information on what you can and cannot claim as a tax deduction.
  • It’s accountants’ busiest time of the year, so don’t wait until the eleventh hour to make an appointment; book a few weeks (even months) in advance. Tax agents’ fees are deductible, as are related expenses — like travel to and from their office — so claim all costs associated with doing your tax.
  • Don’t throw this stuff out after you’ve lodged your return, either. Keep it for five years in case you’re ever audited.
So, if we’re to sum up tax time in a neat little list for the average Aussie taxpayer, it’d go something like this:
  • Don’t procrastinate!
  • Keep records.
  • Have info at the ready.
  • Keep all receipts.
  • Pay off debt ASAP.
  • Make a contribution to your super.
  • Pay tax-deductible costs before June 30.
  • Declare job-specific expenses.
  • Make rental properties count.
  • Trust the experts.
  • Make appointments in advance.
  • Claim tax agents’ fees.
  • Be a hoarder!
Merry EOFY! Moneysoft wishes you many happy (tax) returns!