We’ve closed the books on the 2016/17 financial year, so now it’s time to lodge your tax return. But before you sit down to complete your lodgment, it’s important you’re armed with the correct information to get started.
Do I need to lodge a tax return?
If any of the following apply you, are required to lodge a return:
• Resident individuals whose assessable income is greater than the $18,200 tax free threshold for the income year
• If you had tax withheld from your employment income
• If you were carrying on a business
• If you paid PAYG instalments during the year and wish to claim back the tax
• A minor who received income from dividends or distributions greater than $416 and had franking credits or PAYG withheld
• The ATO has requested you to lodge a return
When is my 2017 tax return due?
If you are lodging your return yourself (without the assistance of a tax agent) then your deadline is the 31st of October
If you use a tax Agent like carbon Accounting, your due date can be extended. Please contact our office to check your due date as every tax payer is different.
What documents do I need to complete my tax return?
To help make preparing and lodging your tax return easier and quicker, set aside some time to gather the following documents:
• Payment summaries
• Bank statements
• Dividend statements
• Buy and sell documents for investments (i.e. shares or property). This is needed to calculate your capital gains or losses
• Income and expenses for your rental properties
• Details of any foreign income
• Private health insurance statements
• Details of any work-related expenses/deductions you have incurred throughout the year
What expenses can I claim for my tax return?
If you’ve incurred any work-related costs that you haven’t been reimbursed for, you may be able to claim them in your tax return. It’s important to be able to verify costs if requested, so ensure you have invoices, receipts or log books at hand.
• Vehicle and travel expenses
• Clothing, laundry and uniform expenses
• Gifts and donations to deductible gift recipients
• Home office expenses
• Interest, dividend and other investment expenses
• Self-education expenses
• Tools and equipment
• Other expenses such as tax agent fees, union fees, income protection*
These are just a guide so if you want further clarification please make an appointment with Carbon Accounting to discuss your individual affairs.
What expenses can’t I claim on my tax return?
The ATO may be on the lookout for red flags that identify people who are claiming costs which they shouldn’t be. We’ve outlined some of these below:
• Travel between home and work – this is considered private
• Car expenses – the exception to this is if you are carrying bulky tools or equipment that is required for your job and you are unable to keep them at work
• Everyday clothes – i.e. suit, shirt and tie is generally not deductible even if your employer requires you to wear them. Clothes need to be job or company specific in order to claim the deduction.
• Self-education expenses that does not have a directed connection to your current employment i.e. if your new qualifications will enable you to get a better more high paying job then these expenses are not deductible
• Private use of your phone or internet
• Meal expenses – where you are not required to work away from home
There are several ways to lodge your tax. MyTax is a great place to start. If you get stuck, we’re only a phone call away. If you’d like assistance with your tax return, make an appointment with Carbon Accounting to discuss your individual affairs. Call us on (08) 9446 8588.