CHECKLIST: 10 things to do in final day of tax season
TODAY is the final day of the 2014/15 tax season which could see some Clarence Valley residents rushing around snagging last minute receipts and getting their ducks in a row.
If that's you, or this story has just prompted you to start, here's a checklist by H&R Block to save tax and avoid errors when preparing tax returns.
1. Prepare and Declare ALL of your income - The Tax Office now receives much of your income information electronically from third parties, including most institutions that pay interest and dividends, foreign income from overseas tax offices, PAYG Summaries from employers and pension payments. There is no point not disclosing income because the chances are the Tax Office already knows about it.
2. Claim Imputation Credits - It will reduce your tax bill and maximise deductions
3. Self Education - You can claim expenses for courses undertaken in connection to the income you are currently earning.
4. Home Office - You are only entitled to claim a percentage of the actual costs incurred eg. electricity and heating costs, depreciation of office furniture and equipment and a percentage of telephone and internet use based on a log book kept for a four week period.
5. Car Expenses - You can claim motor vehicle expenses related to your work but you need: a log book; a record of kilometres travelled; receipts and invoices.
6. Claiming tax deductions for items that you use part for work and part personally - You can claim that part of the expense that directly relates to your job eg. mobile phones and laptops.
7. Gather written evidence - for claims of more than $300, you must have written evidence with receipts, like credit card bills, phone invoices.
8. Defer taxable income - this is worthwhile if you are close to the top tax threshold of $180,000. If you're expecting a bonus and have an understanding employer, it's definitely worth considering.
9. Offset capital gains against capital losses - If you have a capital gain in this financial year, look to your other investments to see if it is worthwhile realising a capital loss to offset against the capital gain. You only have two days to take action but it could save you plenty in tax.
10. Seek expert help from a tax agent - They can identify what you need to do to get into shape for the 2015 tax season and maximize your deductions.
Got any more tips? Leave them in the comments below.