Most of us cringe at the thought of 30 June approaching… tax time = stress time, but it doesn’t have to be something you dread! Here are a few easy tips to breeze your way through tax time so that you can save or spend your refund wisely!
1.) Organise as you go
It’s so easy to misplace receipts and forget what you have spent in the past year. Avoid this by setting up a folder in your email inbox called “Tax” and file those receipts and invoices as you go. I do this for office expenses, charity donations and subscriptions to industry publications and memberships.
The same applies to bank and credit card statements – save copies in a folder on your computer or download as Excel files so you can easily identify and add up expenses to claim. When tax time comes around, you won’t need to search high and low for missing receipts.
2.) Lodge on time
Individual tax returns must be lodged by 31 October each year if you prepare them yourself, however you can lodge from as early as 1 July. Lodging yourself is easier than ever with the Australian Taxation Office’s eLodgement service, which is available through your MyGov Account. The best thing about using the eLodgement service is that many sections of your tax return will be pre-filled, such as your income from employers and interest received in bank accounts, so all you need to do is check that the details are correct.
If you don’t have a MyGov Account already, you can create one here. You can also use your MyGov Account to receive refunds from Medicare for doctors appointments and related services, so it helps to have an account!
3.) Tax agent vs DIY
Many people see a tax agent or accountant to prepare their tax returns. The benefits of using an expert is that they can help you identify deductions that you may not have known about. You also receive a deduction for the cost of your accountant’s services in your next tax return.
Despite the benefits of using a tax agent, my recommendation is that you try preparing your tax return yourself if you don’t have any complex investments or business income. This is so that you understand what you are claiming and have the appropriate supporting documentation on hand (receipts, invoices). From time to time the Australian Taxation Office may audit your historical returns, so it is good to be across the general rules so you don’t get caught out.
To get you started, you can access my Personal Income Tax Return Document Checklist here.
The quicker you prepare your tax return with these tips, the sooner you can enjoy your refund. Who doesn’t want access to holiday spending money or an excuse to visit Lorna Jane?!
ARE YOU INSPIRED TO GET ORGANISED FOR TAX TIME? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
Amanda is on a mission to inspire professional women to be their happiest and healthiest self with practical tips to get organised and take control of their finances. An accountant in the busy corporate world, Amanda knows first-hand the challenges women face to prioritise their well-being and she is passionate about changing this mindset.
Amanda proudly admits that she is a Lorna Jane addict, dog-lover and is dedicated to the Move Nourish Believe philosophy. She writes at Gorgeous Presence where she shares practical advice inspired from her very own health and wellness journey. You can connect with Amanda on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.