Well well well, its that time of year again – for some, it’s the excitement of tax returns, and for others, it’s the disappointment of tax bills.

If you are one of the ‘lucky’ ones getting a meaty tax return this year, try to show some level of restraint when telling your self-employed friends about the holiday you are able to take with the return, or the jet ski your going to buy – chances are they might not be super thrilled for you!  

But don’t worry, their resentment will pass when they remember you have already paid tax throughout the year so you aren’t really getting free money, but rather just a return of some of your own money (sorry to burst that bubble). 

Kerry Packer’s stance on tax is legendary, and provides the perfect transition into the main point of my article. He said: 

Now of course I am minimizing my tax, and if anybody in this country doesn’t minimize their tax they want their heads read because as a government I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra. 

Now for those of you that don’t know, young Kerry was a pretty smart fellow – so if that were his opinion, then I think its worth listening too.  

Therefore, I took the time to speak with Jeremy Haddad from Addison Partners Accounting to get a couple of sneaky little deductions that you might forget to claim when you do your return, and a couple of pointers to help you for the year that has just started.  

Of course, these are general tips & tricks and you should absolutely discuss any or all of it personally with either me or your accountant before acting upon it. 

Deductions you might forget 

  1. Handbags/office bags – Many of us have a particular bag that we use for work purposes only – carrying items to and from work or around during the day. Previously, you were unable to claim a deduction for this, but recent cases have now proven that this is a legitimate deduction.
  2. Working from home – People who complete additional work from home may be able to claim 45c per hour of work they do at home, without later subjecting their property to Capital Gains Tax. 

Tips for next year. 

  1. Photograph receipts – I know it seems super annoying, but anything you buy that you think is work related – take a photo of the receipt and place it in an album on your camera roll. Not only does it help with substantiation, but it is also a huge help when it comes to remembering everything you bought during the year. Often we miss things that we could claim because we just forget all about them!
  2. Use a logbook – If you use your car for work, check with your accountant if they have an app to help track your work trips – Jeremy from Addisons offers his clients a free app to help track this. When it comes to the end of the year, this could save a fortune because all your travel costs are legitimized! 

These tips and hints above are just a sample of what expert advice you can get from seeing an actual accountant, not just a tax agent (H&R for example) – and will save you plenty of money – after all, from my comments above, it is your money! 

Please contact me if you would like to discuss further on 0423 639 896, or if you want to make an appointment with Jeremy, please contact Addison Partners on 02 4919 5500. 

As always, if you have any friends or family that you think might benefit from this, please pass it on.