Last-minute Tips to Help You Prepare for Tax Time

With the official window to lodge your tax return closing on 31 October for many people, if you haven’t got yourself organised, now is the time to spring into action. With most taxpayers expecting a refund, it pays to get your paperwork in order and properly prepare for getting your tax return done. 

Here are some last-minute tips to assist you:

1. Gather all your documents in one place

The more organized you are, the less stressful the process will be and the more likely you are to maximize your deductions. Without accurate records and receipts, you won’t be able to make the most of your expenses. To avoid back and forth with your accountant, make sure you gather all your documents in one place.

While everyone’s situation is unique, as a general rule, here’s a list of documents to get you started:

  • Copy of last year’s tax return
  • Records of sales and purchases of any shares, business or property
  • Private health insurance details
  • Spouse details (if applicable)
  • Children’s details including date of birth
  • List of all income, including Income Statements, rental income, interest and dividends and any foreign income
  • List of all expenses, including work-related expenses, donations, self-education expenses and the cost of managing tax affairs

2. List all work-related expenses

Whether you’re a chef, carpenter or copywriter, every profession has a list of occupation-specific tax deductions. From car expenses and uniforms to mobile phone bills and union fees, chances are there are work-related expenses you can claim. Think about anything you have purchased that relates to your job or helps you do a better job. It could be equipment you use on the job or a subscription to an industry publication. If the expense relates directly to your job and your employer did not reimburse you, you may be eligible to claim it.  

3. Seek help from experts

Most Australians use a tax agent to help them with their tax returns. What may seem like irrelevant information to you may have a tangible impact on your tax return, so it always pays to get expert advice. While you may think taking your return into your own hands will save you money, it could be costing you in unclaimed tax deductions. With a range of packages and prices to suit all walks of tax payers and incomes, expert advice is both convenient and affordable.

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