Tax time is a bit like a period. It comes around regularly, but for some reason, we’re still surprised and unprepared at least half the time.
Well not this year Friends! We’ve got the low down on everything you need to know. Tips, tricks and traps, what you need to do and the big no-nos.
Wanna jump to the punchline? Download a printable copy of our ultimate checklist to slay tax time.
Okay. That may have been a bit click baity (is that a word?) cos we can’t (shouldn’t, wouldn’t, won’t!) give you the green light on a mindless spending spree. But getting fierce at tax time means maxing out your returns but keeping it legal – blonde, brunette and everything in between. And it’s totally do-able when you learn about the sweet tax-deductible purchases you might be able to claim.
Yep, you betcha Elle. The perfect, brilliant plan.
There are loads of expenses that can be claimed as tax deductions … so long as you can tick a few boxes to keep the tax office on your side. In short, if you want to claim work-related expenses, you need to:
- Pay for them with your own money. And no, this is not sausage roll time at a kid’s b’day party! No double dipping allowed. If your employer pays you back, you cannot claim it.
- Be able to prove they are directly related to helping you earn an income. We know you’re creative but just remember that the key words here are ‘prove’ and ‘legal’.
- Have records to prove what they were and that you paid for them. Carrier pigeons and cute selfies with the guy behind the counter don’t count. So, get digging for those tax invoices or receipts.
We can’t cover everything here, but you may be able to consider these key purchases that do meet legal requirements for tax deductions:
- Stationery / Step away from kikki.K ladies – we’re thinking more printer paper, and lined legal pads
- Home office equipment / Laptops, phones, printers, etc
- Education and training courses / Work-related of course
There are different rules when claiming items like these as deductions, and they relate to the cost…
🤯 Mind boggling? That’s why there are awesome peeps who study for years to become accountants. Get one 🙌
Boss Babes, this one’s for you … check your cashflow and if you can, pre-pay some (tax deductible) business expenses
If you run your own business, you’re a legend. Kudos! And there may be benefits in pre-paying some business expenses that you could then claim as a deduction in this tax return.
There are heaps of rules about this. So do your homework and get your accountant on the job. It’s worth checking to see if you’re eligible to claim expenses like subscriptions, rent and/or insurance premiums. If you are – beauty!
The next step is to see if you can pay in advance and then use those items or services in the next financial year. We know spare cash is a bit of a crazy idea right now, but if you can stretch to do this it can mean a lower tax bill.
Now for our personal fave – superannuation! It’s time to boost that gorgeous bloody superpower of yours with strategic contributions (uh huh – tax deductible ones)
In case you hadn’t noticed, at Super Fierce we are obsessed with arming Aussies just like you with the tips, tools, and tricks to make your not-so-snoozy superannuation work harder and grow into a passport for your dream retirement.
There are various types of ‘contributions’ you can make into your super at different times. And this one is a cracker. Granted it could do with a new name and an image makeover. Seriously, financy/governmenty people, what’s with ‘concessional contributions’? Sounds like a mix up at the local church!
Putting that aside, we’re here to tell you this is THE GOODS …
Here’s the financial jargon version…
You can make last minute voluntary super contributions from your post-tax income if you want to boost your super, and potentially claim these as deductions in your upcoming tax return. These contributions are initially ‘non-concessional contributions’ however, they can be converted into ‘concessional contributions’ to help reduce your taxable income.
If you’re planning to claim these contributions in your tax return, check your eligibility (like your age and your super balance), check your super fund’s cutoff date and make sure you get your payment done in time. Here’s our tip: your super fund’s cutoff date for extra contributions might be as early as a week before June 30th – so get your skates on. Once you’ve done that, you need to notify your super fund with a Notice of Intent to Claim form. You can get the form from your super fund, or do it online via your fund’s member portal.
For the 2022/23 financial year you can make up to $27,500 in concessional contributions without incurring additional tax. This amount includes your employer contributions.
Are you ready for the super-duper exciting stuff?
Okay, here we go! If your super balance is under $500,000 you may have some unused ‘concessional contributions’ from previous years that you can also use this year. That means you can contribute more than the $27,500 cap. Here’s an example:
To find out if you have unused contributions, head to the ATO services in your MyGov account.
Extra bonus for the boss babes. There’s a double win here because these contributions are generally taxed at a much lower rate than your personal tax rate. So it’s a smart way to boost your super balance.
Do good. Do well.
Now we know you’re a stone-cold fox, not a cold-hearted you-know-what. So, you wouldn’t make charitable donations just to get a tax break. But we totally believe in making smart money moves that mean everyone does well whilst you’re doing good. And if a little tax break means you get behind a cause you love, then everyone wins. Nothing wrong with that, right?
It turns out the government agrees 🙌
Donations to certain charities can be claimed as deductions in your personal tax return. So, wearing your heart on your sleeve and popping your hand in your pocket to support charitable organisations can be a win-win at tax time.
- Not all charities are eligible so make sure the organisation is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). See who has DGR status.
- Make sure your donation is what’s called a “genuine gift”. This means you can’t receive a benefit from your donation. So it rules out things like raffle tickets and a Bunnings sausage sizzle for the local charities.
You already you know it, and now’s the time to do it – get organised!
🥷 To the life admin ninjas, we salute you.
😱 To the rest of you, we feel you.
Paperwork sucks, especially if you’re not the organised type. Like our Founder and CEO, Trenna Probert. Just because she can build a business from scratch doesn’t mean she loves admin.
Or if you’re the type who spends too long at kikki.K wondering if the cute organisers and sparkly pens count as a tax deduction. Like our Head of Advice, Gemma Mitchell (who really should know better, but don’t tell her we said that!). Just because she’s a money-saving weapon doesn’t mean she’s immune to sparkly things.
Now to the ultimate checklist to slay tax time
Whatever your jam – it doesn’t matter if you’re the DIY type, or you’re going to wow your accountant with your organisational skills – get ready to switch the dial to FIERCE with our handy checklist of what you’ll need for your tax return.
01/ Income Documents
This is all the info and forms related to any income you’ve earned over the last financial year.
- Payment Summaries and Income Statements. You can speak to your employer to find out which documents you’ll get. FYI, you can normally access this info via the myGov portal after 31 July
- Lump Sum and Termination Payment Summaries – if you’ve left or changed jobs this financial year
- Government payment summaries – if you received financial support this year
- Interest income from banks and building societies
- Dividend Statements for dividends received or reinvested
- Annual Tax Statements from managed funds
- Annual Statement from super funds
The good news is most of this will now be pre-filled for you by the ATO. But it’s important to check the info is correct so have your docs handy to double check.
02/ Other Income
Gather up any info, forms, receipts, etc that relate to any other sources of income you have outside your main job.
- Rental Properties
- Business Income
- Foreign Income
- Capital Gains
- Employee Share Schemes
You need proof of all work related expenses that you want to claim as a tax deduction.
- Motor vehicle expenses
- Travel (such as fares and accommodation)
- Uniforms or workwear
- Self-education or professional development training
- Union, registrations, tools, subscriptions, or memberships
- Home office gear as well as seminar or conference costs
- Phone, computer, or interest expenses
- Donations to registered charities or building funds
- Income protection insurance premiums
Offsets and Refunds
- Health insurance and rebate entitlement statements
- IAS statements or details of PAYG instalments paid if you run your own business
- Spouse details including taxable and exempt income
Make sure to have your bank account details, including BSB and account number, ready when lodging your tax return so you can claim any refunds you’re entitled to.
Click here to download a printable copy of our ultimate checklist to slay tax time.
What next? It’s date night! Grab your calendar and follow three simple steps
Firstly, lock in some dates. The most important one is 31 October. Not only is it Halloween and our fierce founder’s birthday, if you’re a DIY legend, this is the final day to lodge your tax return. If you’re outsourcing to an accountant, the due date stretches out to 15 May in the following year.
Then download our ultimate checklist to slay tax time.
And finally, set yourself some reminders so time doesn’t get away from you.
Fierce Tip. Being late is bad manners. And the tax office is a lot like us when we our significant other misses our anniversary – there are penalties to be paid. Miss lodging your tax return on time and you could face fines which start in the hundreds. This is one time you defo don’t wanna be late.
OK, get ready to slay!
Nobody said tax time was easy, but our ultimate checklist to slay tax time will help get you on track and stay on target so you don’t have to stress about it.
General information only
Finance topics we discuss in our videos, on our website and in other marketing material is general in nature. It doesn’t take into account your personal circumstances, your financial situation or your specific needs. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how this information relates to your unique circumstances.
Super Fierce Pty Ltd (ABN 22 632 423 575) is the holder of Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL no. 534567).