Sum & Substance

Want the best tax refund?

Rather than waiting for the end of the year to sort yourself out, now is the time to ensure you are doing everything you can to make sure that this time next year you have set yourself up to get the best return possible.

Here are my tips to make sure that in 2015 you're able to make good on that promise to yourself to be more organised at tax time.

  1. Eftpos/credit card your work-related expenses: ATO now accepts credit card and bank statements as proof of a claim so if you are shocking at keeping receipts then make sure you use credit card or eftpos for your tax-deductible expenses.
  2. Take a photo of your reciepts with your phone or iPad: The ATO accept scanned receipts as proof of your deduction so you could even throw away the original.
  3. Keep a logbook: Keep a logbook for you’re your motor vehicle. You can do this on paper or use one of the many apps available on your smartphone to do this for you.
  4. Keep receipts for everything you are entitled to: this means making sure you know what you can claim. If you're unsure, the ATO have loads of fact sheets for different professions online that you can download and read. Or my rule of thumb is if you think there is even a tiny chance that you might be able to claim something, then keep the receipt and ask your accountant at the end of the year. We can't claim without a receipt but if you're organised we can give you more options.
  5. Consider wealth creation strategies: Research that rental property, book an appointment with a financial planner, buy those shares you've been looking at or salary sacrifice your bonus or pay increase. Rental property helps you with major tax saving using negative gearing.
  6. Maintaining regular up-to-date books by appointing a Bookkeeper: Enter everything into an accounting package in a timely manner or get a good Bookkeeper to do this for you in a regular manner. Do not leave everything to the last minute.

Why not choose two of these tips to improve your result and then simply do something about it. It really is that easy and you'll be much happier when you lodge your tax.

Neha Nayyar, CPA