As you’re probably quickly learning, tax time is almost here. Accountants are preparing, business owners are getting aligned and freelancers are probably wondering what the hell they should be doing (at least I was when that was me).
To help get you effectively sorted ahead of tax time this year, we’ve pulled together a guide that will cover all your burning questions about claims, deductions, the ATO’s rules and anything else you might want to know. Because this stuff can be kind of overwhelming, and you want to ensure you’re getting your tax return right.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
When is tax time in Australia?
Okay so as a basic starting point, the Australian financial year runs from July 1 through to June 30 the following year. So, tax time tends to kick off at the end of the financial year (or EOFY).
Per the ATO website, in 2021 they began processing tax returns from July 7. However, the cut off for lodging your tax return is October 31. If October 31 falls on a weekend, the cut off date will be the next business day after October 31.
If you’re using the services of an accountant they will have a later final deadline.
Top 5 ways to maximise your tax return
Mark Chapman, Director of Tax Communications at H&R Block has shared a list of useful tips that may help you maximise your tax return this year. Here’s hoping it helps get your next financial year off to a strong start.
Utilise the ‘temporary full expensing’ measure
Chapman shared that if you’re running a business, the ‘temporary full expensing’ measure “allows you to claim an immediate tax deduction for all capital purchases (irrespective of the cost), rather than depreciating the cost over several years, as used to happen.”
This, he explained, can be used for tech purchases, tools or even office furniture – depending on your business.
“The allowance is available to all businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $5 billion,” Chapman shared.
“Remember, as well as making a purchase, the asset you acquire also has to be used or available for use in your business, so realistically you need to get the item delivered and installed by 11:59PM on 30 June.”
Make tax deductions for your home office
With work from home setups being more common than ever before, it’s important we all understand the tax support available with respect to that.
“If you are in employment but work from home, either occasionally or all the time, you are entitled to deductions for costs arising from working at home.”
You can claim the following expenses:
- Heating, cooling and lighting
- Cleaning costs
- Decline in value (depreciation) of home office furniture and fittings, office equipment and computers (for items over $300)