Tax time always seems to creep up on us every year when we are least prepared. There's usually scrambling through the third drawer in the kitchen, trying to find that last receipt from the work shoes you purchased in August last year!
Whether you have been submitting tax returns for many years, or if this is your first time, we have prepared a few things for you to check on now so when June 30 rolls around you can be prepared.
A Group Certificate (or Pay As You Go Summary, PAYG) is a document that shows the amount of tax you have paid for the last financial year, as well as your total earnings for that year.
It will also have the amount of union fees you have paid. This is important as a portion of your Union fees are also tax deductible.
It is important that you take along your Group Certificate when you go to get your tax return done. You will either be sent this through Email, or your workplace will have a dedicated space where you can download it.
Keep and take along all receipts for the year
Keeping a copy of all your receipts is the most important thing you can do to help with your tax return.
You can claim a deduction for all sorts of things, including clothing, laundry expenses, vehicle and travel expenses.
But if you don’t have a copy of the receipts to prove that you purchased these things for work, then you can’t claim them.
So, if you haven’t already, we suggest that you keep a file of all your receipts for work purchases and take these along with you when you get your return done.
Below is a link to the Australian Government website which details what you can claim as a deduction for workers in the retail industry.
Make sure that you have kept a copy of your receipts throughout the year. It is always best to keep a file with all of these as you can claim some of them back on your tax return.
For example, if you have a pair of shoes that you use for work, these can be claimed back as a tax deduction when you do your tax return.
Any uniform purchases you have made throughout the year can also be claimed as a tax deduction. Just take these receipts along with you when you go to get your tax return completed.
Have you made any donations to charity?
Most donations you make to a charity are also tax deductible. If you have made any donations to charity, make sure you keep a copy of the receipt and bring them along with you when you get your return done.
If you have made a series of donations to a charity over the course of the year, say once a month for example, keep an eye out for your statement from these charities.
They will most likely email you this statement which you can then take along with you when you complete your tax return to claim your deduction.
Make sure your details are correct
It is essential that all your contact details are correct and up to date. Otherwise, it could be difficult to find your Group Certificate which will make it harder for you to lodge your tax return.
Make sure your email address and phone contact details are correct and up to date as this will make filing your tax return much easier.
When can I complete my Tax Return
You cannot complete your tax return until the end of the financial year. This year the financial year ends on Wednesday the 30th of June. So, from Thursday July the 1st you can go and file your tax return.
You must have filed your tax return for the year by the 31st of October. If you wait longer than this date you may incur a penalty from the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
ITP deal for SDA Members
The Income Tax Professionals (ITP) are an experienced accounting firm with many years of experience in filing tax returns. They are an Australian owned business with over 50 years of experience in tax accounting.
SDA members are entitled to a 10% discount on the standard price of the preparation of your tax return if the return is completed by an ITP tax accountant at one of their participating branches.
Call them on 1800 155 154 or visit their website at www.itp.com.au to take advantage of this offer if you wish.