Frequently Asked Questions
Discover answers to commonly asked questions about income tax, what to expect from our services, and money-saving tips on claiming your best income tax deductions.
How We Can Help You?
Most people will need to lodge a tax return each year. If you've had income tax taken from your wage or salary during the financial year, you'll need to lodge an income tax return. There are claims to be made which are based on your occupation, age and any available concessions. Have a chat with us, and we'll see how we can claim back some of your hard-earned cash.
Your income tax return should be lodged by 31 October each financial year. Fines or penalty charges may apply if you are late. A benefit of being an ITP Accounting Professionals client means that we may be able to help you minimise charges with our lodgement extension.
Yes, we offer an online tax service giving you access to our expertise at your convenience. To start, simply follow the prompts at https://itp.com.au/online-tax-return/, fill out your information and an ITP Tax Accountant will go over your details and personally lodge your tax return for you.
Our fees may be taken from your income tax refund. Extra charges may apply if you choose to receive your refund by cheque, or if you have unpaid fees like HECS or DOCS. These additional fees will be around $30-$40.
Taxes are calculated based on the whole financial year. If you earnt less than the tax-free threshold (currently at $18,200) you may get your tax back, depending on your circumstances. You will still need to lodge a tax return because you may be entitled to other government concessions you might not otherwise receive.
We’ve built a proud reputation of excellence over the past 40 years. And it shows – ITP was voted Australia’s most trusted accounting and tax service. Every return is prepared by our highly-trained specialist consultants and double-checked prior to lodgement. Every legitimate deduction or rebate will be claimed; we will leave no stone unturned. As an ITP client, you’ll be able to seek tax advice throughout the year without charge too! If for any reason we make an error that results in additional tax or penalties imposed by the ATO over and above your correct position we will pay that penalty or interest. We guarantee every aspect of your finances will be held in strict confidence.
We are full-service accountancy, without the full-service cost. Our price structure is based on how complex the tax return is. Our offices can provide a free, obligation-free quote upon request. For online assisted tax return preparation, we will contact you with a quote by email, phone, or fax after you fill out the online form. Our fees are fully tax deductible in the year paid.
Our aim is to provide the best possible service for the most reasonable fee. Our fees include;
- On the spot service;
- Personal attention from one of our specialist consultants;
- Complete industry checklists to search for every legal deduction;
- Final checking, recording, and lodgement of your return; and
- All year advice about your return.
Our fees are fully tax-deductible in the year paid.
Once you’ve lodged your tax return, we’ll let you know if you’re entitled to a refund or if you have a tax debt to pay. Most refunds will be issued within 12 business days if you lodged online, or up to 50 business days if you lodged a paper return. If you provided us with valid Australian bank account details in your return, your refund will be paid directly to your account.
If your return is delayed it may be for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons are:
- you have recently lodged returns for previous years, either on their own or with the current year’s tax return
- you currently have a debt
- we need to check information with other Australian Government agencies such as Centrelink or the Child Support Program.
If you haven’t received your refund after more than 21 days, get in touch with your ITP consultant and we’ll chase it up for you.
As a senior, you may be eligible for the Australian pension and tax offsets that go with it. You may be able to reduce the amount of tax and Medicare levy you pay and in some cases, eligible seniors may not even have to lodge a tax return.
Your ITP consultant can help you prepare and lodge all past year’s tax returns in one appointment. While you will receive your tax refund for the current year within the normal period, you might have to wait a little longer to receive refunds for previous years.
Starting a business involves a number of tax obligations and registrations. ITP can help you sort out your Tax File Number (TFN), Australian Business Number (ABN) and Australian Company Number (ACN), register your business name and get an AUSkey. They’ll also help register your company for the GST, PAYGW, PAYGI and FBT to new a few.
You will need to include dividend statements as well as any other interest earned on bank accounts, even if it’s just a few dollars, as income. The Australian Tax Office now has data-matching services with banks to cross-reference the data they receive from you, so it’s important that they match. We’ll help by prompting you to include this in your ITP consultation.
Here’s the thing, some government payments and allowances are included as taxable income while others are not. To be sure you’re not leaving anything out, simply bring it all into an ITP branch when you are getting your tax return processed and we will figure out what does and doesn’t need to be included. Just as a quick tip; any taxable payments such as age pensions, Newstart allowance, youth allowance or Austudy will need to be included in your tax return.
If you already have a working visa, you will also need to obtain a Tax File Number (TFN) to be properly recognised for tax purposes in Australia. An ITP Tax Accountant can help you every step of the way if you’re unsure.
ITP has a number of overseas client tax experts that can handle your tax return, or any tax issues you may have while overseas. We can also help if you have income or assets in countries that have Double-Tax arrangements with Australia. Email our ITP overseas tax experts for the latest advice
Understanding when you need a receipt to claim a tax deduction is important to ensure you don’t pay more tax than necessary. There are deductions that you must have written evidence to claim a tax deduction based on expenses incurred. For example, if your total claim for work-related expenses is $300 or more, you must have written evidence to prove your claims. But, if you don’t have receipts, all is not lost!
As long as you have documentation that includes: the name of the supplier, amount of the expense, what the goods or services are, date the expense was incurred, the following documents are also acceptable as written evidence:
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements
- BPAY reference numbers
- Email receipts
- PAYG payment summary
- Paper or electronic copies of original documents
If you’ve lost your payment summary you can get the information you need by:
- requesting a copy from your employer or payer
- requesting a letter from your employer or payer stating details of your income and the amount of tax withheld
- reviewing your payslips, time-sheets and bank statements.
All employers are now obligated to report your PAYG and super payments straight to the ATO. Your ITP Tax Accountant can access tax and super paid when you give them your Tax File Number (TFN).
There are various rules that apply when claiming tax deductions on travel for work, such as vehicle costs, parking, road tolls, accommodation and meals. You’ll need to make sure you’ve kept your receipts and in some circumstances a travel diary will be required. If you claim tax deductions for vehicles, your claims must be accompanied by a log book for each car. Your ITP Tax Accountant will work out the best method to use to maximise your tax deductions.
To claim tax deductions for your vehicle, you’ll need to keep your receipts and a log book for each vehicle. Your ITP Tax Accountant will the work out the best method to use to claim maximum deductions. They’ll also help you claim any up front costs that you might be eligible for, and work out the best method for depreciating your vehicle.
Deductions for uniforms can only be claimed if the work uniform is specific and identifiable to your organisation (such as chef’s checked pants) or protects you from injury while you are at work. You can’t claim the cost of a plain uniform or conventional clothing, such as white shirt and black pants or skirt which is commonly worn by waiters and waitresses, even if your employer tells you to wear them. If your clothing has a company logo on it, then you’re able to claim it as a tax deduction.
You may be able to claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your study is work-related or if you receive a taxable bonded scholarship. You cannot make claims for deductions for courses unless it leads to a formal qualification, and has a sufficient connections to your current employment.
Below is a list that the Tax Office allows you to claim for self-education:
- accommodation and meals (if away from home overnight)
- computer consumables
- course fees
- decline in value for depreciating assets (cost exceeds $300)
- purchase of equipment or technical instruments costing $300 or less
- equipment repairs
- home office running costs
- internet usage (excluding connection fees)
- parking fees (only for work-related claims)
- phone calls
- student union fees
- student services and amenities fees
- trade, professional, or academic journals
- travel to-and-from place of education (only for work-related claims)
Some travel for journeys cannot be claimed, but you may be able to offset the cost of these journeys against the $250 reduction.
Your family is a tax deduction waiting to happen – sounds a bit odd but true all the same. The amount you can claim will depend on the income levels of you and your individual family members, the age of your children and any income already received through Centrelink payments. So let’s make this easy and just bring all these details with you when you come along to your local ITP branch to lodge your tax return.
If you buy a computer that will be used for both work and for personal use, you will need to apportion the amount you claim. For example, if you use your computer for work use half the time, you can deduct a 50% portion of depreciation cost. You’ll also need to take into consideration the expected life of the computer.
If you use your own phones or internet for work purposes, you may be able to claim a deduction if you:
- paid for these costs and
- have records to support your claims
If you use your phone or internet for both work and private use, you will need to work out the percentage that reasonably relates to your work use.
When you work from home, you’ll also be eligible to claim your business portion of your running and occupancy costs. An ITP Tax Accountant can advise what, when and how you can maximise your tax return.
The ATO has individual tax rates for Australian residents. There are different tax rates, depending on how much you earned during the year. You might also be applicable for a Medicare surcharge. There are different tax rates for Australian residents, foreign residents, children under the age of 18 and working holiday makers
Organisations entitled to receive tax deductible gifts are called ‘deductible gift recipients’ (DGRs). You can only claim a tax deduction for gifts or donations to organisations that have a DGR status. Tax deductions of $2 or more can be claimed, however there are rules governing approval of claim regarding certain type of gifts.
A myGov account will enable you to download your income statement, which you will need to provide to your tax agent for your return. You will also be able to see your PAYG and superannuation payments as they are paid into your accounts from your employer.
You can boost your super by adding your own contributions to your super fund. Personal super contributions are the amounts you contribute to your super fund from your after-tax income (that is, from your take-home pay).
- are in addition to any compulsory super contributions your employer makes on your behalf
- do not include super contributions made through a salary sacrifice arrangement.
Personal contributions are non-concessional (after-tax) contributions and will count towards your non-concessional contributions cap unless you have claimed a tax deduction for them.
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