If you’re the sort who keeps your receipts in a shoebox under the bed, the thought of your annual tax return probably makes you shudder. However difficult it may seem when you think about it, however, you shouldn’t put this important part of the tax year off. I mean, do you want to pay more tax? Are you so happy with the way the government is currently running the country that you’re fine to give them more money?
We thought not.
In all likelihood, there’s things on your tax return that would result in you receiving a tax rebate, and why not try and get that into your pocket rather than leaving it in the hands of the revenue. Tax, of course, contributes to the betterment of societies through the funding of schools, hospitals and the police services. And a society that can provide welfare to its poorest citizens will always be one to aspire to. However, there’s no reason to over contribute above your share!
Firstly, know that there is a host of industry-specific deductions that are allowed, and you should be totally familiar with those for your specific area. There’s specific deductions allowed from everything from the banking industry down to those working in adult industries, so it’s vital to be cognoscente of what you need. These deductions are very specific, so be sure you fully understand what you can and cannot claim.
Of course, no one particularly wants to be audited by the Tax Office. One of the biggest rising deduction categories [unsurprising in this digital age] is smartphones, internet and computer. However, many people claim these devices as business tools when they are fully a personal indulgence, and the ATO have wised up to this. You can only claim the portion of these that are work-related, and you’re advised to keep your claimed deduction reasonable- and make sure you can prove it on request.
There’s a host of ‘scientific’ recommendations on when to file your return. If course, if you know there’s extra to be paid over, you’d be forgiven for opting to pay over at the last possible moment. That way, you hang on to your money and earn interest. Likewise, filing early if you’re due a refund will get it processed faster.
Within reason, opt to prepay expenses but delay payments over the year end period in order to reduce your overall bill. And while we appreciate tight budgets, don’t be afraid to hire the expertise of a professional accountant. Not only can you claim the cost as a deduction on your next tax return, but the value a trained professional can bring to the situation far often produces more return on investment then the outlay will cost you.
Overall, there’s a lot of common sense in tightening and streamlining your tax return to maximise your return and reduce the fees you owe the taxman, and it only takes a little forthought and organisation.
Keyword: tax return