If you’re thinking about lodging your tax return, start preparing early and save yourself from headaches and time spent digging through old receipts.
The following points can help you get organised and receive the best possible tax refund:
1. Prepare your receipts. If you are claiming less than $300 you don’t need to keep receipts. However, make sure to keep a diary note of all the small expenses and minor work-related purchases you have made.
While there are specific rules around what you can and cannot claim, if you haven't told your accountant about it, you won't be claiming it. If an expense is directly related to your job, then tell your accountant about it to ensure you don’t miss out on a deduction.
2. Interest Income. This needs to be declared, if you have earned any interest from banks, get a bank statement that shows how much interest you earned.
3. Rental Properties. Remember to get all details for costs involved with your rental property - any repairs, maintenance, etc.
4. Charity. You may be able to receive a tax deduction for donations and gifts you gave.
5. Travel. Travel to and from home is not deductible, but travel during work usually is. The easy way to record this is to keep a log book and all your receipts together so your claim can be maximised.
6. Electronics (Mobile Phones, Laptops, etc). If you are required to provide these for work, you may be entitled to a deduction.
7. Newspaper subscriptions. Depending on your occupation, you may be entitled to a deduction for newspaper or magazine subscriptions.
8. Uniform, laundry and protective clothing. Although standard clothing cannot be claimed, registered uniforms and protective items can be claimed.
9. Education. If you are studying to improve your income earning in your current career or have taken courses to maintain your licenses, you may be entitled to a claim for costs involved in education.
10. Get advice from professional accountants. There is an upfront cost, but remember you can claim it as a deduction on next year’s tax return. Professionals can help you catch deductions you could be missing out on.