With EOFY closing in, tax return becomes a topic once again in everyone’s minds.
Tax year in Australia starts on my birthday. That’s right, on July 1st, and finishes on June 30.
I must say, to date it’s been pretty exciting for me. In my 7 years in Australia, I have always got something back from a tax man. It may not be the case this year but hopefully with the help of a good tax agent, I see some pocket money going back into my account.
Living in the UK, tax return was not a common thing. Tax return was not obligatory if you were a paid employee. Obviously, this was different for those having their own business and working for themselves.
I am sure you already know that in order to maximise the return and minimise the tax you are liable for, you need to keep copies of all receipts/invoices related to any expenses
occurred during the current tax year. Remember, tax man can come knocking on your door asking for a proof of purchases any time he wants to look into more detail. Even better if you have worked out some sort of filing system or downloaded an app to record all your receipts. Check out your bank app on your mobile phone as nowadays bank apps have a functionality to scan receipts.
Now let’s see in more detail what type of expenses you can claim in your tax return
Self-employed and a small business owner
Regardless what business you are in, below is the list of things you can claim in definite.
· Mobile phone bill
· Internet bill
· Any subscriptions/professional memberships
· Any software expenses
· Equipment purchased including phone, computer, tablet, earphones, hard drive, camera, printer plus any equipment related to your field of business i.e tools and protective clothing, packaging, raw materials for production and more
· Training costs/conference fees
· Business travel costs (hotel and flights associated to any business trips)
· Books, collateral purchased for your business
· Any costs occurred using your mobile phone for work
· Costs occurred using your home internet for work
· Any software/hardware purchased required to do your work
· Protective clothing and footwear/uniform related costs including laundry and dry cleaning
· Professional memberships associated to your profession and trade certificates
· Training costs not covered by an employer
· Work travel costs (that does not include traveling to and from work but travel to conferences, training, work trips)
· Any collateral and books bought relevant to your job
· Bags such as laptop bag, handbag used for work
· Sunscreen for those working outdoors
· Sunglasses for those working outdoors
In financial year 2019/20, if you have been working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, all working from home costs can also be calculated by multiplying hours you have worked from home between 1st March and 30th June with 80 cents (per hour) which will provide you with a figure for tax deductible work from home expenses. If you have been claiming either job keeper or job seeker payments, your accountant can assist you with more information on what needs to be included in your tax return.
Please note that this year employers are no longer required to issue end of year payment summary to its employees. Instead, employees will be able to view their tax and super information by logging into their MyGov account and accessing ATO online services.
When you log into your MyGov account, make sure ATO is linked to your MyGov profile. If not, you first need to follow the steps to link ATO services to your account. Please have your TFN handy when doing it. Also for verification purposes, ATO may ask you details from last year’s PAYG i.e gross salary, or your bank account number and/or super balance.
Once you have linked ATO services page to your MyGov account, you can view your employment details and tax details under “View My Income Statements”. Your accountant should also be able to access your tax information without you printing off any details, however in case you are visiting them first time, you may wish to print off your tax summary just in case.
Also, a thing to note before you now rush off to scheduling your tax appointment- Tax agents/accountants will be flat out come 1st July so you may wish to book in your appointment toward end of July or later, just to give them a bit of a breathing space.