If you’ve been putting it off and haven’t filed your income tax return yet, it’s coming down to the wire with the deadline to lodge just days away. October 31 is the date Australians need to have their paperwork sent off to the Australian Tax Office – otherwise you risk getting slapped with a fine. But given that most people are due a refund, and the average is about $2,000, it’s your money you are missing out on.
The downside is, if you lodge after the deadline and incur a debt, the tax office will charge you interest on the amount from the day it was due until it is paid.
Here at ITP we’ve got your back and have made it as simple as possible to avoid a nasty letter from the ATO. Follow just 4 simple steps to get your tax return sorted in no time.
1. Find your closest ITP store now and book your appointment
While it is the busiest time of the year for our staff, many offices have extended opening hours to give you the best chance possible to lodge before the deadline. Because we have more than 45 years experience, we will often find deductions you haven’t thought about. And if you’re under 21, you’re in luck because you’re entitled to flat fee of just $79. Go to www.itp.com.au to get in touch with an office closest to you.
2. Get your paperwork in order
You might be entitled to an amazing tax refund this year but unless you are organised and have your paperwork in order, you could be missing out on some serious cash. Check out our handy checklist to help you know exactly what you can claim, what receipts you need to keep and how to maximise your return.
3. Don’t fudge the numbers
The ATO is fed up with people fudging the numbers and has warned they are cracking down on illegitimate work-related expenses. When a return is submitted, the ATO is able to check your occupation and data match to others in your profession. They can also check your bank statements, government records and even your social media accounts! Don’t risk a fine, or even jail time, by claiming more than you are entitled to. Generally speaking, if you claim a deduction you need to remember the three golden rules. One, make sure you spent the money yourself and were not reimbursed. Two, make sure it’s related to your job and three, you need a record to prove it.
4. Tick taxes off your to-do list and work out what you’re going to do with your refund
So, you took our advice and it landed you a nice little tax refund. Now, how to spend it? For many of us, a tax refund is the biggest lump sum we receive in a single transaction in a year. But before you go splashing your cash, or if you’re not sure what to do with the money, consider paying off your debts, putting the money into a long-term savings account or investing in your future. Sorted!