The tax time deadline of 31st October for individual tax returns can come fast, but if you’re organised, there’s no need to feel the tax deadline crush to lodge your personal tax return.
It pays to be organised. Many people are held back by getting a full year worth of work-related receipts and expenses together, but with a little monthly or even weekly organisation, there won’t be any battle. Using an app to log and catalogue your receipts as you get them is an easy way to be prepared ahead of time.
Save your receipts
It’s important that you have receipts to backup your claims. Although you’ll have your bank statements, it may not contain enough information about the transaction to claim it as a work-related expense. It’s a good idea to photograph your work-related receipts as well as keep your paper copy just in case something happens and you lose them. The ATO can request to see your receipts for up to five years from when the expense was incurred.
The Golden Rules
Come tax time, there are three golden rules set from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
- The expense must directly relate to earning your income
- You must have incurred the expense
- You must have the records to prove it
Individual tax return deadline
The Australian income year ends on the 30th of June. You have from the 1st of July to the 31st of October to lodge your individual tax return for the previous income year. If you’re leaving Australia before the end of the income year (30 June), you may be able to lodge your tax return early.
Penalties for late lodgement
The ATO can impose hefty fines if you lodge your tax return after the 31st of October individual tax deadline and can be incurred from the 1st of November. The longer you go without lodging your return, the more you’ll incur.
Days Past Deadline – Late Lodgement Penalty
1 – 28 days: $210
29-56 days: $420
57-84 days: $630
85-112 days: $840
113+ days: $1,050
If you do need more time, there is a loophole – in fact, you can have up to 6 months if you use a registered tax agent to lodge your income tax return without incurring the tax penalty. You’ll need to be on your tax agent’s books by the 31st of October to get the extension even if you lodge your tax return after that date.
Remember when lodging your tax return, to report all of your income from all income streams, including interest from bank accounts, dividends, rent and more. Your tax agent will help you work out what you’ll need to lodge and claim everything you can to minimise your tax. It’s best to speak with your tax accountant if you’re unsure about anything.
ITP The Income Tax Professionals help over 300,000 Australians each year with their personal tax returns. If you can’t get into a branch, your professional can conduct your tax return over the phone, via email or by our remote service. Speak with a professional today.