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Preparing Yourself for Your Tax Return

By April 19, 2024No Comments

As the 2023 tax return due date is approaching, let’s go through the process of how to prepare your docs to see an accountant and get the most out of your tax appointment!

The Basics

When seeing an accountant, there are a few basic things that you should bring along with you. Firstly, bring a photo ID. If you are on a temporary visa and are not entitled to Medicare, bring your passport. Secondly, save a copy of your last payslip for the financial year (last pay before 30 June) from each of your employers.

Working under an ABN

If you work under Australian Business Number (ABN), the accountant will need you to provide records of your income and expenses, as this information may not be reported to the ATO.  You can present this information as an excel file, via a cloud software, or even a hand-written list.

Other forms of Income

If you had other forms of income during the financial year, you will need to inform the accountant and provide them with any relevant information.

  • Rental properties – provide a list of income and expenses for each property. A separate list must be provided for each property which you rent out. An end of year statement from your agent will help, but remember that agents don’t cover all your expenses. Make sure you have interest charged (not repayments), rates and other expenses also summarised.
  • Shares, cryptocurrency and employee share schemes – a list or end-of-year statement listing your shares, dates acquired and sold, as well as the amounts relating to your purchases and sales.
  • Overseas income or investments – if you are an Australian permanent resident, you must declare any foreign income you earn. This includes any business activities, pensions, assets, investments and related capital gains events.

Dividend and pension information is usually provided to the ATO by payers. Documents only need to be supplied upon request.

Deductions

Taxpayers are eligible to claim certain expenses. These expenses need to be clearly related to your work. Certain expenses such as a car can be used for both business and personal use. In these cases, you will need to adjust your claims to reflect the business usage. This business usage must be evidenced in a log book.

Your expense lists can include:

  • Car or travel expenses incurred when travelling from one work site to another
  • Personal protective equipment or uniforms
  • Accounting expenses
  • Tools or equipment purchased for work and many more

List as many things as you can, as it is easier for the accountant to go through all your expenses during the appointment than to make adjustments after the tax return has been lodged.

Record Keeping

If you plan on deducting expense, the accountant will not need to see all your receipts.

If your total claims add up to over $300, you should be keeping your receipts in your records. Individuals should keep their receipts for five years since last claim (e.g. if you claim depreciation on car for 8 years, you should keep invoice for 13).

You can store the physical receipts or keep photos/digital copies on your computer. If you have a lot of expenses, you can keep track of them using the the ATO my Deductions tool. If you are running a small business, it may be worth investing in an accounting software to streamline the process.

At BTMH, we can help you in setting up an accounting software. If record keeping is too much for you, we also offer a bookkeeping service, so you can focus on your passion and keep admin work to a minimum.

Lodging with BTMH

Don’t let your obligations pile up and get that return in before the end of this upcoming financial year!

Lodging your return with BTMH? Send us an email at officeadmin@btmh.com.au for a copy of our expenses template. You can us in our office in Bondi Junction or connect online – Book your appointment today.

You can also keep up to date with our social media for tips and tricks!

Thomas Murmylo

Thomas is the Principal Tax Agent at BTMH. Unlike most in the accounting industry, Thomas takes a different approach when it comes to the management of his clients’ taxation and accounting needs. Thomas has helped local and international businesses to grow and prosper for more than 30 years.