All working adults pay their taxes one way or another, whether it’s through their employer or by lodging a tax return themselves. The latter requires a thorough understanding of the process to ensure that it is done properly and on time. While keeping track of dates and requirements can seem quite overwhelming, ITP The Income Tax Professionals discusses everything you need to know about the process to help you lodge a tax return:
The How, The Why and The When
There are three ways to lodge your tax return: by an online program, through a registered tax agent and by completing a tax form and submitting the necessary documents yourself. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. Lodging your tax return manually can be fairly straightforward , simply fill out the proper form according to instruction and mail it along with your payment. However, because no one is guiding you through the process, it’s easy to forget something or submit the wrong documents. If you choose to lodge a tax return online, you pay for efficiency and convenience but still leave ample room for error. Working with professional tax return accountants, on the other hand, can cost you more than the other two methods but it also ensures that you complete the process properly the first time, helping you save time and effort.
One of the reasons to file your tax return is that you may be under- or over-paying your taxes, which can cause several issues later on. By lodging a tax return, you can reduce the taxes you owe by claiming and deducting certain expenses, which leads to a refund, or learn that you have unreported additional income, which means you would need to pay more tax. Be sure to complete your tax return for the previous year before the tax filing deadline for 2019 or anytime from July 1 to October 31; the new Australian income year starts on June 30th.
What You Can Claim When Completing Your Tax Return
When completing your tax return, there are several deductions on expenses that you can claim. This is where tax accountants become crucial, as not all expenses can be deducted from your tax return. As experienced professionals, they would know exactly what you can or cannot claim, helping avoid issues. While tax deductions largely vary, these usually include:
Work-related expenses that you spent without being reimbursed such as vehicle and travel, overtime, self-education, clothing, equipment and other home office expenses.
- Cost of managing tax affairs
- Personal super contributions
- Investment outcome deductions and
- Gifts and donations
Why Can’t I Lodge My Claim at Any Time?
The due date for lodging your income tax returns isn’t decided by the Australian Taxation Office, it is in fact set out in the law. That said, you have over 4 months to file your taxes, which is considered more than enough time. If you are lodging your return manually and need additional time, you would need to contact the ATO in advance. However, this isn’t a guarantee that your deadline will be extended. Registered agents have a lodgement program allowing them to progressively lodge in a 12-month period to avoid huge backlogs when the deadline comes.
If you miss the deadline, no need to panic, as the ATO doesn’t shut off its system. In fact, you can still lodge a tax return after October 31 by contacting your tax agent.
Enjoy hassle-free tax returns with ITP The Income Tax Professionals. Our professional team of tax accountants will process your claim smoothly and address any of your concerns immediately. We will also make sure to check every deduction you claim to help maximise your refund. Contact us today.