How To Prepare For Your Tax Return

4 min read

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 60% 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

Income

  • Income Statements 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
Some of this information (such as Income Statements, Centrelink Payments, Private Health Insurance Details) may be available to be downloaded by yourself or your accountant from the ATO.

Expenses

  • Work Related Expenses:
    • Motor vehicle incl. estimation of kilometres if no logbook kept, otherwise logbook and expense details
    • Travel (fares and accommodation)
    • Uniforms/work-wear
    • 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 purchased (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), 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.

Tax can be complicated. This is why working with an experienced and professional tax consultant is the best possible way to minimise stress and make sure you stay on top of this at tax time. At H&R Block our expert consultants know all the finer details and are here to make things as easy as possible for you. Call us on 13 23 25 or click here to book an appointment with your nearest H&R Block office.


Learn more about tax with H&R Block Income Tax Course

Interested in starting a career as a professional tax consultant?

The H&R Block Income Tax Course is the first step to becoming a Tax professional. This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to professionally prepare tax returns and foster connections that extend far beyond preparing the return.

Enroll in Australia’s leading Income Tax Course today to unlock Graduate Career Opportunities in 2024. Once you've registered, you also unlock the option of referring friends to join you on your study journey.

In 2024, we are looking for new associates that are not only good with numbers and enjoy dealing with people, but we are also searching for people who live in regional locations around the country. That’s why we are offering a special scholarship program just for interested people who live in regional Australia. Click here to learn more about our Regional Scholarship Program.

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