How to Get the Best Return This Financial Year

The end of the financial year is fast approaching, so it’s time to get your tax return sorted.

What you can claim will depend on your personal circumstances. One big thing that will make a difference is whether you own a business or work for an employer. If you’re employed and pay PAYG any deductions that you claim need to be directly related to how you earn your income. You’ll need to have a record of what you spent, like a receipt or invoice, which hasn’t been reimbursed by your company.

Of course, there are a few things that you can claim without a receipt. But don’t be tempted to claim for what you’re not entitled to. Some laundry expenses, car expenses (up to 5,000km) and general work-related deductions can be claimed without receipts. But claiming all of these to the limits is one way to raise eyebrows.

Remember, the ATO is on the lookout for what they term unreasonable deductions. Their data tools can quickly sniff out a return that’s not quite right. So be sure of everything you’re claiming and remember, it’s best to seek the help of a tax agent.

Declare all your income

Your income may come from more sources than just your job. If you’re taking part in the so-called ‘sharing economy’, perhaps letting a room on Airbnb or even doing a few hours as a Uber driver, this needs to feature on your return. Even any income you get from selling goods second hand may need to be declared.

Prepay your expenses

You can prepay tax-deductible expenses up to a year in advance. Sometimes when it comes to your return, every little deduction helps! So, make sure you review any subscriptions or dues which you are eligible to claim as you may be able to prepay these and make a deduction.

Share the love

Generally speaking, donations to charities are tax deductible as long as you give more than $2 and the charity you choose is registered as a deductible gift recipient. If you’ve been considering giving to a cause that’s close to your heart, check in with your tax agent and understand what impact this could have on your deduction.

Supercharge your super

If you want to boost your deduction, consider making a personal contribution to your super fund. This is a great way to boost your all-important retirement savings and enjoy the long-term joy of compound interest. You’ll need to check on the contributions that have already been made by your employer because your total contributions can’t be more than $25,000.

Learn more about making a voluntary super contribution.

Don’t forget those quirky claims!

Again, it’s a great idea to get the advice of an expert when you’re dealing with tax because there are unusual areas that you may be able to claim in. If you’re carrying your laptop in a bag that you bought for this purpose, you may be able to claim!

Your other accessories might be deductible too. Living in Australia, we all know how important sunglasses are for the health of our eyes and the ATO recognises this too. If your work means that you must work outside for long periods of time, you might be able to claim your sunglasses as a tax deduction.


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