3 June 2022 · Tips N' Tricks

Tax Time

It’s that time of year again – it’s tax time! For many people, this is an exciting time of year when they get back some of that hard-earned cash that was taken out of every pay. For others, this is just about the least fun time of year, when not only do you have to muddle your way through ATO forms but some may even end up with a tax bill. 

In this article, we’ll let you know what is required in terms of information for tax return lodging. Plus, we’ll share with you our tips for preparing for your 2022 EOFY tax return so that it’s quick, easy and as profitable as possible. 

WHEN CAN I LODGE MY TAX RETURN?

You have from 1 July to 31 October to lodge your tax return for the previous financial year. However, the sooner you lodge your return, the sooner you’re likely to receive any funds owed to you by the ATO. 

If you’re going to use a tax accountant, it’s a good idea to schedule your appointment as soon as you can, as this will be their busiest time of year. 

HOW SOON CAN I GET MY TAX RETURN?

Electronic returns are normally processed within two weeks. Paper returns take much longer. Once the ATO has processed your tax return, you’ll be issued a notice of assessment telling you if you’re entitled to a refund or whether you have a tax debt to pay. 

Column 1

The benefits of lodging online are:

  • Most of your information can be pre-filled from your employers, banks, government agencies, health funds and third parties by late July.
  • A range of systems and controls are in place to protect your information.
  • It's available 24/7, so you can lodge at your convenience.
  • You'll get your refund faster, generally within two weeks (14 days).
  • You can upload your records from myDeductions to pre-fill your tax return.
  • It is available for all individuals and sole traders who want to lodge their own tax returns.
  • You will receive a lodgment receipt by email to confirm that we have your lodgment.
Column 2

With myTax you can:

  • Lodge a tax return from the 2016 income year onwards
  • Confirm if you don't need to lodge (also known as non-lodgment advice or return not necessary) 
  • review and print your tax return before or after you lodge
  • see an estimate and breakdown of your refund or debt (tax owing).

To lodge online with myTax you will need a myGov account linked to the ATO.

  • If your myGov account is linked, start your return with myTax. Clicking here takes you to the myGov website to sign in.
  • If you don't have a myGov account, you will need to create one, see Create your myGov account and link it to the ATO.
My Gov

Tax Deductions:

Employees are entitled to claim work-related expenses as a tax deduction. To claim a tax deduction, you must have spent the money out of your own funds and not have been reimbursed by your employer. The expenses must relate to your earnings as an employee. Make sure you have invoices and receipts as proof of payment for any work-related expenses.

Expenses you may be able to claim:

  • Vehicle and travel expenses – make sure you have a travel diary to record details of trips taken for your employment.
  • Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses – you can claim for occupation-specific clothing, uniforms and protective gear.
  • Home office expenses – the shortcut calculation is still available this year for people who have worked from home due to COVID-19. This allows for a flat rate of 80 cents per hour for work time. You will need records of the hours you have worked from home to claim the ATO special rate. For people who usually work from home, check the ATO home office expenses calculator to maximise the allowable deduction.
  • Self-education expenses – some education expenses that relate to your current employment are claimable.
  • Tools and equipment – if you buy gear to help you in your job, these may be claimable. Small tools of the trade, protective items, professional references and laptops are some examples of equipment you may be able to claim.

Although your tax return is not due for a few months yet, the end of the financial year is nearing…have you captured all your work-related deductible expenses to make the most of your 2022 tax return?

Income

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) automatically receives information from your employers about your salary and the wages that you have been paid for the financial year. You need to declare all income from other sources on your tax return as well:

  • Wages and salaries from employment.
  • Pensions, annuities or government payments such as JobKeeper.
  • Investment income includes interest earned and dividends paid.
  • Cryptocurrency gains or losses.
  • Business or hobby income.
  • Foreign income.
  • Crowdfunding income.
  • Sharing economy income such as Uber or Airbnb.
  • Any other income such as prize money, compensation or insurance payments.

Even if you have only earned a small amount from one of these sources, it still needs to be declared on the tax return. Gather all your records for anything you have earned apart from salary and wage payments from employers.

You will need:

  • bank statements that show interest income;
  • proof of earnings from other sources such as crowdfunding or share economy platforms;
  • records of business or hobby income;
  • records of government payments received;
  • records from cryptocurrency wallets showing transactions and the balance of each currency on 30 June;
  • and records of any other payments received from overseas sources, prize winnings, insurance or investments.

Prepare for your tax return now and you’ll make sure you maximise your allowable tax deductions this year.

*source Australian Taxation Office. Always seek your own independent financial advice.