You’re not alone if you’re the type of person who gets to this time of the year and whips out all their crumpled receipts and tries to salvage a years’ worth of paperwork in one day. Every year we tell ourselves to be more organised, and every year it can turn out the same way with last-minute stress over getting our EOFY orders ready.
The good news is, you’ve still got time to get organised before June 30. Here are some tips so you can be organised and get the most out of your EOFY tax return.
1. Know what you’re claiming
Receipts: If you’re the type who has all your receipts shoved in a shoebox or plastic bag, it’s time to sort them out. Set aside what you can claim and throw what you can’t. If you’re a little more organised, you might have moved with the times and have a receipt storage app. These can be handy for not only storing all your receipts in one place but storing warranties of items purchased and tracking mileage.
There is also the ATO’s myDeductions app where you can record:
- expenses and deductions
- vehicle trips
- income (if you’re a sole trader)
- photos of your invoices and receipts.
2. Check your calendar
If you’ve not kept up with tracking or logging all your work-related expenses for the year, go back through your calendar or online diary to see if you had any business lunches or travel you’ve forgotten about. Any external meetings, business lunches or travel trips will have expenses that can be claimed.
3. Do your research
Find out exactly what you can claim within your industry. Some jobs have specific industry claimable items. You’ll need to check with your accountant on what your industry can claim, but some lesser-known claimable items could be:
- Media subscriptions
- Laundry of uniforms
- Work bag
- Further education
- Home office
- Gym equipment
- Protective clothing
- A portion of your electricity and phone bills
You’ll need to log everything for proof if questioned. Even if you’ve got a side hustle, you may be able to claim expenses for it too. If you’re still not sure ask your accountant about ways they can help you save on your claims.
4. Make big purchases now
If you’ve been thinking for months, you may need a new office chair, or if you’ve been thinking of upgrading your car, now is the time to do it. This time of year usually has some good clearance items and sale around, so not only can you squeeze your purchase into your tax deductions just in time, you can benefit from a bargain and low-interest rates.
5. Do a self-audit on your finances
This is the time of year that you can check on all your financial products, loans and bills and see if everything is working for you or you could save elsewhere. There are lots of ways you can save on your financial products and shave money off your bills with a review.
6. Shop around
With interest rates being at record lows, it may be a good time to refinance your loans or check if your credit cards are offering you the best rates possible. Check your bills with insurance companies and electricity and make some calls to see if you can get a better deal with switching to a competitor.
7. Clean up your super
If you’re a business, you must make sure all superannuation has been paid and up to date before July 1. If you have super contributions, it might be a good idea to start to consolidate them into one fund.
8. Be aware of relevant tax changes
Your financial advisor will be able to advise you of any changes or news from the ATO that may affect your tax. However, it’s a good idea to do your own research too so you can save time and money.
The ATO will have news and announcements on their pages, and you can sign up for alerts to your email. This way, you can be prepared for any changes and be able to ask the right questions to your tax accountant in your tax appointment.
9. Be aware of tax benefits
Any business with a turnover of less than $2M is eligible for many tax benefits within areas of CGT, Income tax, GST tax, and Fringe Benefits tax. Knowing what you can claim around these and what is applicable for your business is important to put you ahead for the new year.
10. Know your income-producing assets
If you can keep up to date with your income-producing assets, it will help your business be more efficient and maximise cash flow. You can reduce operating costs, increase productivity and free up cash by
by structuring your financing and repayments to suit your tax and cash flow needs.
11. Have an accounting spring clean
As several tax and superannuation changes take place from July 1 onwards, make sure you review and update your accounting systems.
You do not want to have to back pay items such as missed super contributions or lose other potential tax-saving opportunities next end of year financial year.
Jason is the director at Total Accounting Partners on the Sunshine Coast and in Redcliffe. He has been working as an accountant for over 16 years. He has experience in Public, Corporate, Management and Government accounting services and all aspects of accounting including Tax Planning, Superannuation, Structuring and Acquisitions. Jason is Xero certified and lead the team to Gold Partners with Xero.