As we head into July, many taxpayers are facing up to the reality of having to complete their annual income tax return.
So, how can you keep the process as painless as possible?
Here are H&R Block’s tax tips for easy tax time.
Choose how you will lodge your return
In essence, that means choosing between lodging yourself and using a tax agent, like H&R Block:
- Using a tax agent: About 74% of Aussies use an agent. Sure, there’s a fee involved (which is tax deductible), but you get your return completed quickly and accurately. Most people find this the stress-free option. Make an appointment so you can be sure of getting a time that suits you (you can book online through the H&R Block website).
- Self lodging: For those who still prefer to self lodge, H&R Block’s DIY online tax return service ensures a registered tax agent checks your return for accuracy before it is submitted to the ATO, reducing the risk of serious errors and consequences. For self lodgers with more complex finances, H&R Block suggests the use of its Online Tax Adviser tool, where a virtual tax agent works with you to ensure you claim every deduction possible and maximise your return.
Get your paperwork ready
Obviously, we’re all different but it is possible to generalise about the sorts of documents you might want to pull together before you start the tax return process. Not all of these will apply to everyone, these are just general guidelines:
- Copy of last year’s tax return
- Records of sales and purchases of any shares, business or property
- Private Health Insurance Details
- Spouse Details
- Children’s details including D.O.B
- Payment Summaries for any jobs you have had over the last year
- Bank interest statements setting out amounts of bank interest received
- Pensions or Government payments
- Superannuation lump sum payments
- Allowances (Car, travel, entertainment, meals etc.)
- Employee share schemes
- Dividend Statements
- Foreign income
- Rental property income
- Business income
- Any other income earned
- Work Related Expenses:
- Motor vehicle incl. estimation of kilometres if no logbook kept, otherwise logbook and expense details
- Travel (fares and accommodation)
- Self-education and professional development (seminars, conferences, etc)
- Union fees, registrations, subscriptions, memberships
- Home office costs
- Telephone, computer, internet fees
- Any other costs incurred earning income
- Income Protection insurance
- Details of any assets purchases (with split between work and private use)
- Investment expenses, for example: bank fees, financial advisors fees, investment borrowings etc.
- Rental property expenses For example: rates, body corporate fees, agent fees, interest on loans, repairs and maintenance (inside and out), travel, water rates, depreciation schedule, etc.)
- Cost of managing tax affairs
- Charitable donations over $2
And don’t forget!
The Tax Office no longer issues refunds by cheque so you must provide your bank account details, including the BSB and account number on your return.