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Last minute tips for preparing for the End of Financial Year
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Latest  /  Last minute tips for preparing for the End of Financial Year

5 last minute tax return tips for the end of financial year

If you haven’t looked at the calendar for a while, you might be a little bit surprised to see we’re now in the final stretch of the 2018/19 financial year. The EOFY sales are in full swing, and the ringing of accountant’s phones across the country is starting to pick up at a rapid pace.... It’s tax time! If you’re one of the handful of people who are confidently across their finances and tax obligations, well done, the end of financial year will seem like just another month. For everyone else though, now is the time to really kick your EOFY planning into full gear, gather up all those receipts covered in 2018’s dust and study the tax legislation for every deduction possible before the 1 July deadline.

Or, you could engage an expert Financial Advisor/Accountant so you don't have to get bogged down in the time consuming details of your accounts and tax, because Your Future Strategy do all the hard work for you. You can count on our advisory team to take a holistic view of your financials and apply clever tax-effective strategies to your salary structure, superannuation, loans, and investments.

Here are our top tips for making tax time 2019 easier:
  1. Technology is your friend, use it
Whether you are a business owner or employee, there are a myriad of free technological advancements available to make your life easier when it comes to tax time. If you are an employee, downloading the free Australian Tax Office App  will give you access to a system in the palm of your hand where you can upload any receipts and keep track of deductions made throughout the year. Lost receipts and missed deductions cost Australian employees hundreds of dollars per year and it’s probably the simplest area of tax to get right. It’s likely a bit too close to tax time to get the most out of all of the functionalities of the ATO app, but it is still a great resource to use. If you’re not app savvy or you just don’t want any more apps on your phone, simply taking photographs of all of your receipts and uploading them to the cloud, or backing up on your computer is another way to make sure they are in a safe place for tax time.

Following on with technology benefits, try to use your debit or credit card as much as possible when making tax deductible purchases. By paying cash for a deduction, if you lose the receipt you have also likely lost any chance you had of claiming that tax deduction.

Technology is there to make our lives easier, why not harness its usefulness for financial improvement too?
  1. Go through your diary or calendar one more time
With many Australians using their car sporadically for work trips, buying meals on overnight work trips and utilising public transport to get between places of work it can be tough to remember every single time you’ve spent money on work related items over the course of a year. Taking the time to go through your diary (if you don’t keep one you definitely should) or calendar can prompt you to identify times you have forgotten about. Every dollar and every deduction counts in a tax return.
  1. Do you know exactly what you can claim?
The good news is that there are a number of work-related expenses you've paid during this financial year that will be able to be claimed back as part of your tax return. If you are an eligible working student or recent graduate of a skills increasing course, you may be able to claim the cost of professional development courses and professional book/magazine/journal subscription. Most people are aware of deductions relating to work uniforms, phone bills and internet costs for work-related calls, charitable donations and costs incurred for work trips, but there is also much more buried in tax legislation. Even if you think you know exactly what you can claim, double checking against the ATO website and consulting your accountant is the most prudent way of ensuring you haven't missed anything, as guidelines change from year to year and financial advisors and accountants are experts in their use.
  1. Make more deductible contributions to super
The ATO allows individuals to make personal payments to their super and claim the deduction up to a set limit in their tax return. If you have been thinking of talking to your human resources department about salary sacrificing to superannuation, or you are a business owner who isn’t paying themselves any super, you only have until June 30th to finalise any superannuation deductions. As well as topping up your super balance, making additional contributions can help you reduce your overall tax bill too.
  1. Find the right professional for your situation
Whether it is your first time submitting a tax return or your 50th, it can be difficult to navigate the tax legislation and claiming guidelines, leaving yourself out of pocket or worse, in the firing line of the ATO for incorrect deductions. If you are stuck on a tax-related issue or unsure how to maximise your tax return, seeking professional advice is always the best solution. Speaking to an accountant with specific experience as a tax agent will help you navigate the tax system and a registered tax agent can even do your tax return for you. Having a tax accountant complete your tax return may give you the advantage of having an extended tax lodgement deadline and your accountant's fees are tax deductible, allowing you to claim that money back in next year's tax return.