Five things to do now to take control of your 2019 taxes

Top tips to take the stress out of tax season and help maximise your return.

With just a few months until the end of the financial year, now is the time to take control of your taxes.

Taking the time to prepare your taxes during the year can take the stress out of the tax return process and help to maximise your tax return.

Look at last year’s tax return

If you haven’t lodged your 2018 tax return, now’s the time to do so. 

If you’ve already done your taxes, think about what you found difficult or time-consuming and plan how to make your 2019 taxes easier and less stressful.

Know what you can claim

Brush up on what you can claim on your tax return so you can easily keep track of expenses.

Work-related expenses can include:

  • Vehicle and travel expenses.
  • Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses.
  • Home office expenses.
  • Mobile phone, internet and home phone expense.
  • Overtime meals.
  • Self-education expenses.
  • Tools and equipment.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) also provides lists of occupation-specific deductions which can help you to determine whether an expense is claimable.

Create a system

Don’t wait until the end of June to start organising your important tax documents and receipts.

There’s more than one way to organise your tax records so pick an option that works for you. 

The ATO app’s myDeductions tool can help keep all your records in the one place. At the end of the financial year you can upload your records directly to myTax to complete your tax return online.  If you use an accountant, you can share your records directly with them via email.

myDeductions can help you keep records for:

  • All work-related expenses (including car trips).
  • Interest and dividend deductions.
  • Charitable donation.
  • Costs of managing your tax.
  • Sole trader expenses and business income.
  • Other deductions.

Retain your receipts

Keeping your receipts together will take the hassle out of completing your tax return.

Whether you keep physical receipts in a folder, take photos of each receipt or keep track of your expenses in a spreadsheet, all the information you need will be right at hand.

Pre-pay expenses

Review your upcoming work-related expenses and consider making purchases prior to 30 June. You’ll be able to claim the dedications in the current financial year, rather than waiting 12 months.

  • Possible expenses could include:
  • Paying for a work-related course you want to do later in the year.
  • Purchasing tools and equipment.
  • Making additional superannuation contributions.

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person’s particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs.