Paying tax is unavoidable, but paying less isn't. That is the message from Etax spokesperson Ashley Debenham, whose organisation has compiled some tips for taxpayers to make sure they are not paying any more tax than they have to in 2019.
Don't miss out on deductions you are entitled to.
"So many of us don't know exactly what we're entitled to claim, or we forget to record certain expenses through the year meaning we just forgo this money at tax time. Organisations like Etax provide suggested deductions based on your occupation as part of their tax return to make sure you're not missing out on seemingly insignificant expenses that can amount to a very attractive tax return," Ashley said.
Avoid common mistakes
"Things like overclaiming on holiday or rental properties, not keeping proof of purchase and failing to declare overseas income can be costly mistakes at tax time," Ashley said.
He advised anyone who was unsure about whether they could claim a deduction to check with their tax agent.
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Use a tax agent
Did you know that more than 70 per cent of Australians use a tax agent to help with their tax return?
"Having a professional check and double-check your tax return is probably the best thing you can do for yourself in tax season," Ashley said.
"They will more than likely pick up on details that can be the difference between an average tax return and your biggest one yet. Online tax agents are on the rise, with companies like Etax.com.au having experienced accountants checking every detail for you, with the convenience of doing it all without time-consuming appointments."
Beware of the EOFY sales
Many people look forward to the end-of-financial-year sales so they can purchase items that they can claim back on tax.
"That's fine for smaller-scale items but if you're looking at a new computer, be aware that items over $300 need to be depreciated over the 'effective life' of the item and the immediate deduction is likely to only be a small percentage of your actual purchase price," Ashley said.
Knowing what you can and can't claim is the key to tax success, Ashley said.
"If you understand your deductions and what's required, it's easy for you to provide whatever resources are needed and complete your tax over a morning cuppa," he said, adding there was no need to go it alone when you could contact a tax agent to make sure you were not "leaving any money on the table".
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