How to get the most out of your tax return
Tax time is here so it is time to start getting together your PAYG summaries, statements and receipts. Once you’ve gathered all your paperwork, it’s important to understand exactly what you can claim to help you make the most of your return.
According to the ATO, approximately 7.3 million Australians claimed an average of $2,008 in work related expenses last year, making them one of the most commonly claimed deductions.
Things to remember when claiming work-related expenses:
- You must have incurred the expense in the year you are claiming it.
- The expense must be work-related and not private and if the expense has been reimbursed by your employer it can’t be claimed.
- Receiving an allowance from your employer does not automatically entitle you to a deduction.
- If your claims total more than $300 you need to keep written evidence.
USE THE EDUCATION TAX OFFSET
If you have bought computers, textbooks or stationery for your children’s schoolwork you can take advantage of the 50 per cent education tax offset.
You qualify for the Education Tax Refund if you receive family tax benefit Part A. This financial year you can claim expenses of up to $794 for each child in primary school and up to $1,588 for each child in high school and get half your money back.
CLAIM YOUR CHARITABLE DONATIONS
Don’t forget your donations to charity – everything from the Queensland Flood Appeal to your sponsor child. Any donation over $2 is tax deductible but you’ll need a receipt to claim for the donation.
UNDERSTAND YOUR OFFSETS
There are a lot of offsets available and it’s a good idea to check whether you are eligible for one. These include the dependant spouse tax offset, the private health insurance rebate or medical expenses over $1500.
If you can’t find receipts, but know where you spent the money, see if you can get a copy of the receipt or invoice. Statements from your financial institution showing details of purchases can be used in some cases.
^Michael – Practice Development Manager