Getting the most out of your tax

Ready and raring to go: The team from Roan Financial Group are ready to assist you with all of your accounting and financial planning needs. Photo: Shutterstock.

Ready and raring to go: The team from Roan Financial Group are ready to assist you with all of your accounting and financial planning needs. Photo: Shutterstock.

The end of the financial year is just around the corner and for many people July 1 signals the start of a quest to get their tax information in order, however accountants advise that the tax process should be a year round effort to ensure that you maximise your tax return.

Accountants can not only help prepare documents and lodge returns for you, they can also advise you what you should be keeping records of each year and tracking to get the best results for yourself. 

Not only can your accountant maximise your tax return but they will also confirm what you are and aren’t allowed to claim on your tax return, making sure you avoid any unwanted trouble with the Australian Tax Office (ATO). If you combine this with the use of a financial planner, you will have your bases covered for tax, investments and superannuation efficiency.

Money in the bank: To ensure you maximise your tax return you need top be proactive throughout the year with your tax information. Photo: Shutterstock.

Money in the bank: To ensure you maximise your tax return you need top be proactive throughout the year with your tax information. Photo: Shutterstock.

The idea of being proactive rather than reactive when it comes to tax can be a hard habit to get into but is ultimately one that will provide a greater reward. There are many simple ways to get on the front foot with your tax, however the best tip that gets continually repeated is to ensure that you keep accurate records and receipts for everything.

Peter Roan from the Roan Financial Group said while not everything you purchase or invoice may be able to be claimed, having the appropriate records allows your accountant to check. “Everyone likes to get money back from the ATO at tax return time, yet many people aren’t organised enough with their expenses, investments or claims to make sure they are getting back the most that they can,” he said.

If you don’t have proof of a claim, then the answer is always going to be negative so it is vital to keep accurate records. While receipts should be kept for everything, remember they can fade or get lost easily so it’s best to scan them and save a copy of them on your computer or online for easy access.

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While the aim of the game is to maximise your tax return, at the same time over claiming and inflating figures can result in issues with the ATO and you could face heavy penalties, again something accurate records can help you avoid.

Peter said that while many people can do their own tax online, they may be missing out on possible deductions if they are unsure what they can and can’t claim.

“Keeping up to date with the ATO changes regarding claimable items can be difficult if you aren’t employed in the industry. Things like working from home and work related expenses are often forgotten about. As normal you need to keep detailed accounts throughout the year for ATO records, but also to make sure you don’t over claim,” he said.