Super-simple tax planning for those who dread tax time

As June comes to a close, so does the end of financial year. For many people, thinking of their tax is something they only put a small amount of effort into at this time each year. However, preparing for your tax return really starts on 1 July of the year prior.

With a small amount of planning, compiling documents for your tax return does not need to be an arduous task and can put precious money back into your pockets. Here’s two very simple tips to achieve that.

Save receipts as you go

Save yourself the stress of trying to compile your documents during June when receipts have likely gone missing or your memory starts to fade.

A great way to do this is to store your receipts and other documents electronically. There are many iOS and android apps available which allow you to take a picture and save them on your smart phone. These apps often backup your documents in ‘the cloud’ meaning if you lose or change device they can be recovered.

If you feel more comfortable with paper-based systems, simply keep a folder/box etc. with all your tax information in the one place and make sure it’s a safe place that you won’t forget.

Know what you can claim in advance

To save the items needed to prepare your tax return, it is important to be familiar with what can and can’t be claimed as a tax deduction. Below are a few common expenses that may be deductible for you.

  • Tax agent fees
  • Stationery
  • Laptops/tablets/phones
  • Donations
  • Travel
  • Union fees
  • Self education (excluding HECS-HELP)
  • Tools and equipment.

Note that these items must have been paid for by you, not reimbursed, be directly related to earning your income and you must have records to prove it.

See also Accru’s Fact Sheet on Home Office Deductions, our other tax-time tips, as well as the ATO website for extensive guidance on deductible expenses for different occupations.

At Accru we have a vast knowledge of taxation across a large range of industries. As well as corporate tax matters, we look after the personal tax affairs of many business owners and professionals. If you would like to find out more, please contact your local Accru office.

By Charles von Stieglitz, Accru Hobart.

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Charles von Stieglitz
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