Getting ready for the tax man
Who doesn’t love the end of the financial year? Okay, so maybe sorting through a shoebox full of receipts isn’t your idea of fun, but don’t worry. With our handy checklist, you can take some of the headache out of tax time. You might even find ways to give your finances a boost.
Confirm if you need to lodge a tax return
If you received an income through employment or investments during the financial year, chances are you’ll have to lodge a tax return after 30 June. If you’re not sure whether you need to do one, you can find out by using the Australian Tax Office’s online tool – ‘Do I need to lodge a tax return?’
Organise your documents
Your tax return needs to show everything you earned between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. As the first step, gather your payment summaries from your employer, invoices for any self-employed work you’ve done, and bank statements that verify your income.
Identify your investment earnings
Your tax return also needs to indicate any income you’ve earned from non-work activities during the financial year. This includes dividends from shares and rental income from investment properties, as well as assessable capital gains from the sale of investment assets. Make sure you have a clear record of all your investment earnings for the year, with documentary evidence to back it up.
Collect receipts for donations or gifts
You may be able to claim a tax deduction for donations or gifts you’ve made during the financial year to charitable organisations or other eligible ‘deductible gift recipients’. You’ll need to find all your receipts for these – monetary gifts must be over $2 and different rules apply for gifts of money or property, so ask your accountant which ones you can claim.
Work out your deductions
Depending on your employment situation, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for money you’ve spent on things like your car or other transport, work uniform, tools, home office equipment or education and training expenses. You may also be able to claim deductions on costs you incur in earning investment income (such as interest payments) and super contributions, so talk to your accountant to find out what you’re eligible for.
Calculate child support payments
If you’re making child support payments or providing any related benefits, calculate the total you’ll be paying during this financial year. Depending on your circumstances, these costs may be deducted from your adjusted taxable income.
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This document contains general advice. It does not take account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a Financial Adviser before making a financial decision. This document has been prepared by Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625, AFSL 227232, (Count) a wholly-owned, non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. ‘Count’ and Count Wealth Accountants® are trading names of Count. Count Financial Advisers are authorised representatives of Count. Information in this document is based on current regulatory requirements and laws, as at 17 May 2017, which may be subject to change. While care has been taken in the preparation of this document, no liability is accepted by Count, its related entities, agents and employees for any loss arising from reliance on this document.