Tax time. Two words that bring a sense of dread to most people. If this includes you, read on. We’ve compiled our top tips to ensure smooth sailing this financial year.
If you’re after a stress-free tax return, the best thing you can do is stop procrastinating and lodge your return as early as possible. Get ahead of the ball this year by organising any statements for savings accounts or other investments in advance, as well as ensuring that you have your Pay As You Go (PAYG) Payment Summary or Group Certificate on hand.
Having these prepared before you begin your tax return will save time and help you receive your tax refund sooner.
Become a boss at deductions
The thought of adding deductions when filing a tax return often seems like a hassle – but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, once you know what you can claim, the process becomes easy and it could end up saving you thousands.
We’ve compiled a quick list of the top deductions that will help you dominate this financial year and put some of your hard-earned tax dollars back into your own pocket.
- Mobile phones – Workers can claim the costs of their phone and internet expenses that are work-related
- Electricity – Many people take work home with them. If you don’t want to claim comprehensive home office expenses, you can still claim for electricity used when doing work at home
- Education – If you’re studying subjects related to your current paid employment, it’s tax-deductible after the first $250. You also can claim travel expenses for the cost of getting to and from your place of education
- Printer ink – There’s a pile of home office items that can be claimed including inks, stationery, printers, computers, chairs, desks, paper shredders and rubbish bins
- Bricks – The most lucrative potential tax deduction for property investors is not the carpets and curtains, but writing down the bricks and mortar. For most people it’s a 2.5 per cent annual tax deduction on the cost of the building – but not the land, which does not depreciate. For an investment property costing $300,000 to build, that’s a welcome $7,500 tax deduction every year
- Your income – If you pay income protection insurance premiums, make sure to claim them. It’s the only form of personal insurance that is tax-deductible
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
An estimated 46 per cent of us spend three or more work hours per week thinking about our finances (PWC 2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey), resulting in low financial wellness. Add on the stress of a tax return and it’s easy to see why so many of us become overwhelmed.
Our financial wellness impacts all aspects of our lives — from our physical and mental health, right through to the relationships we have with our family and friends.
So, if you need a little extra help filling out your return, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Accountants can take the hassle out of your tax return, leaving you to live your good life.