Tax Return Tips For 2017

Tax return season is upon us, so for many Australians it’s time to knuckle down and start crunching the numbers. Regardless of how well versed you are in economics, it’s natural to be slightly confused when it comes to understanding your tax returns. There are so many different details to keep in mind and potential grey areas that the process can feel challenging. Rest assured, getting the most out of your tax return doesn’t have to be a struggle. Follow these tips to make sure you get it right.

 

  1. Ask an expert. If you simply don’t have the time or inclination to handle all things taxation, why not get a professional to handle it for you? Services like One Minute Tax have the resources and expertise to make sure you get every cent you’re owed, and they’ll take the problem out of your hands completely. Professional accountants can be especially useful if you have a particularly confusing taxation situation, or if you’re self-employed.
  2. Know your deadlines. When all else fails, the most important thing to remember is the deadline date. You’ll need to submit your return forms to the government by 31 October 2017. If you’re using a professional service, they’ll make sure that it’s in on time, saving you the stress. You just need to ensure that they have all of the information they need to get it done by the deadline. If you are going to handle it by yourself, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get the paperwork in order.
  3. Know your rights. There are different categories of taxation in Australia, so your personal status will affect how you approach your tax returns. For example, non-residents and residents get different amounts of both taxation and refunds, so make sure you’re aware of your rights before you begin. It’s important to note that even if you’re a non-resident, if you’ve been in Australia for over six months and have stayed in the same place, you may be considered a resident when it comes to tax season.
  4. Understand job related expenses. The main category to consider when it comes to tax returns is your work related expenses. There are tons of different expenses that can be claimed, but it’s important to get it right as incorrect claims could lead to a fine. If you want to claim something as an expense, it’ll need to be essential to your work, safety-related or used purely for work. For example, if you use your computer for work and personal recreation, you can only make a partial claim. You may also be able to claim back on the costs of educational courses related to your career.
  5. Do you work from home? Working from your spare room doesn’t mean that you can’t make claims related to your profession. There are plenty of different opportunities to claim for self-employed workers, from cleaning expenses and internet bills to work related phone expenses and repairs. If your entire business is run from your home, you may even be able to claim some of the money back on your rent, mortgage or home insurance. Use the government website to clarify your rights, and you could be in for an impressive tax return.

Author: Stephanie Thornton

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