It’s the start of the new tax year and H&R Block, Australia’s largest firm of tax accountants, has suggested a few new year financial resolutions to help keep your tax affairs in good shape throughout the new tax year:
- Keep good records. If you think you can claim it (or even if you’re not sure) keep the invoice or receipt. If you lose it or throw it out now, you have no chance of making the claim in your tax return this time next year.
- Be organised. Don’t just throw those invoices or receipts in an old shoebox and forget about them until next July. File them properly. Better still, take a photo of each one with your smartphone and store them safely online (modern paper invoices and receipts fade fast, so by next July that taxi receipt you kept could be just a blank slip of paper!).
- Get an app. These days there are lots of apps on the market which allow you to record tax deductible expenses as you go and even store the receipts. Take a look at the H&R Block tax app as an example. Using an app will reduce stress next tax time and may well reduce the fee you have to pay to your accountant!
- Be aware. Tax is constantly changing! The turning of the tax year is usually the time that any major changes in the way we are taxed kick in. Here are some key changes to be aware of:
- If you run a small business through a company, your tax rate has dropped by 1.5% to 28.5%.
- If you run an unincorporated small business, you’re entitled to a $1,500 discount off your tax bill this year.
- If you use your car for work purposes and use the cents per kilometre method to claim a deduction, the previous system of three different rates based on the engine capacity of your car has gone. There’s now a flat rate of 66c/km.
- Keep your details up to date. Don’t forget to tell the ATO (and your accountant) if your address changes during the year.
- And finally…You can’t quite wave goodbye to the last tax year until you’ve completed your tax return. You must get this in by 31 October 2015, unless you use an accountant in which case you may be able to lodge later. Chances are you are due a refund, so you’ll probably be looking to lodge early. Using an accountant like H&R Block is always a good idea to ensure that you maximise access to all those tax deductions you are entitled to.