Individual Tax Returns & Personal Accounting

Do I need to lodge a tax return? If a government pension is your only income or your income is less than $18,200 a year, you probably don't.

The tax office have a data matching system and can track interest so even the smallest amounts must be declared. Check your bank statements for amounts, and if in doubt check with your bank.

Up to $300 can be claimed as work deductions without receipts. These claims must be for expenses in relation to your work. Motor vehicle expenses are not included in the $300.

You may be eligible to claim self-education expenses if you are taking a course directly related to your work. You cannot claim Higher Education Contributions.

Expenses directly relating to your work, such as the cost of tools, professional registrations, telephone, internet and professional association subscriptions are allowed as deductions.

The two most common methods for calculating motor vehicle expenses are cents per kilometre and the logbook method. A maximum of 5,000km per spouse can be claimed using the cents per kilometre method. If you keep a logbook you may be entitled to claim a percentage of all your motor vehicle expenses including fuel, insurance, registration, repairs, interest and depreciation.

Individual Tax Return Checklist (click here to download PDF)

Income Tax Returns & Tax Planning

Fees paid to a registered tax agent to complete your tax return are deductible.

Lodging your tax return through a registered agent allows you extra time to get organised if you consult your tax agent by 31 October. In most cases you will have an extension to May the following year.

A Quantity Surveyor’s Report should be completed to allow you to access the maximum deductions for your rental property if your property is fairly new.

Assets purchased for a rental property can be fully depreciated within the year if the cost of the asset is less than $300 per owner.

Prepayments made up to twelve months in advance are eligible to be claimed in the year the expense was paid. This could be beneficial if you have particularly high income for one year. Check with your financial institution prior to paying interest in advance on your loans.

Being prepared for your tax return can save you time, money and stress!

Individual Tax Return Checklist (click here to download PDF)