Here are ten great ways to get yourself in shape for Tax Time, and ensure you don’t give away any hard earnt money to the dreaded Tax Man!

  1. Keep your receipts organized.  File and organize your receipts throughout the year, so that when it comes to tax time you can easily locate them, and know how much you paid for deductible items.  With receipts you cannot make a claim!
  2. File your receipts to maximise your tax deductions, plus pay all your tax deductible expenses before June 30 in the name of the higher income earner.
  3. Keep all your medical bills.  If you spend more than $1,500 each year on medical expenses, not only are you entitled to the usual Medicare discounts, but you are also eligible to a 20% tax refund.
  4. Make sure you are claiming all the deductions that are relevant and allowed for your job.  The ATO provides a guide to deductions for over twenty industries occupations on it’s website – from travel agents to those working in the adult industry! For example, if you are a lawyer, you can claim the cost of renewing your practicing certificate, while flight attendants are allowed to claim the costs of buying new luggage for their job.
  5. Did you donate to an Australian charity this year?  A donation of over $2 to an Australian charity is tax deductible, but you must have a deductible gift recipient.
  6. Did you know? Income protection insurance can be claimed as a work-related expense.
  7. Consider the tax advantages in salary packaging items like a car, laptop or mobile phone (rather than purchasing them yourself).  Talk to your employer about the fringe benefit tax benefits. Salary sacrificing works by paying with pre-tax dollars, not post-tax dollars, saving you money and could change your income tax bracket.
  8. Check out the tax office website to ensure you are claiming everything you can!
  9. For a fast and relatively hassle-free lodgment, go online and use eTax.  Your return will be deposited into your chosen bank account quite quickly
  10. When in doubt, get advice from a tax professional!