Australian tax deductions Archives - Advice on Australian Tax Returns & Online Tax Advice on Australian Tax Returns & Online Tax

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Tax Deadline 2018 is 31 October!

tax deadline 2018

31 October 2018 is on its way.

Australian taxpayers are rushing to lodge their return by the deadline. You may be contemplating if you should hire a local tax accountant to advise you on your taxes since you’re worried if you won’t be able to do it yourself. In that case, be prepared for long waiting times and the possibility of hefty fees.

If you’re looking to lodge your return within the comfort of your own home, read on!

E-Lodge is here to make your experience easier.

Taxes can be a hassle to gather your documents, compute your taxes or even wait in line to be seen by a tax accountant; especially for tax deadline 2018. With E-Lodge, you just need to follow these easy steps to use our simple do-it-yourself online tax preparation site: Read the rest of this entry »

Should I Lodge Online or Find A Tax Accountant?

Are you looking for a tax accountant?

Many taxpayers are searching for a tax accountant near their area to lodge their tax returns. However, what would you say if you could lodge right from your bedroom?

Check out these steps on how to easily lodge your tax return online and tax tips on how to choose a tax accountant. Afterward, you can choose which option is right for you.

What about saving time? 

With E-lodge, our tax preparation services provide you with a user-friendly site, with which you can enter all the information. Unlike online tax services who you are paying for the complexity of your return, private accountants charge higher flat fees per the hour you are spending on your tax return.

On top of that, you don’t need to leave your home or can even finish your tax return on your lunch break. Here’s how to lodge your return online with us: Read the rest of this entry »

What is the tax-free threshold for 2018?

tax-free threshold 2018
The first $18,200 of your yearly income is not subject to tax.

That sounds great, doesn’t it? This is known as the tax-free threshold. However, this only applies if you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes.

You can claim the tax-free threshold to reduce your tax withholding during the year. Find out if you’re eligible by reading on.

Here’s a breakdown of the 2018 tax-free threshold.
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The GST and Low Value Goods

What is the GST?

The ATO has announced a new tax law on the goods and services tax (GST) before the 2018 tax season. You may be wondering, what is the GST? The GST is a tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items that companies or other entities sell to Australia. We actually consume most of these goods!

New Tax Law

From 1 July 2018, the GST will affect businesses that sell low-value goods who import to consumers in Australia. Low-value goods have a customs value of A$1,000 or less when the price is under the agreement with the customer. However, any tobacco products or alcoholic beverages do not have the GST tax since they will be charged at the border.

Here’s the breakdown of the changes.

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New 2017 Australian Tax Offsets!

Tax offsets are coupons from the ATO.

When we go grocery shopping, it makes sense to bring as many coupons as we can to lower how much we pay. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do the same for our taxes? Well, you can! Tax offsets are coupons from the ATO since they help to lower the amount you owe to the ATO. You might be able to qualify for more than one offset. Let us help you lower your tax due and determine which tax offsets are beneficial to you.

 

How do I qualify for an offset?

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Airport Lounge Membership Tax Deduction

A businessman walks into a (airport lounge) bar…can he deduct that?

No, this isn’t a riddle and the answer is yes. Generally speaking, an airport lounge club membership can be claimed as a tax deduction.

 

What does the ATO have to say about this?

Funny you should ask. According to the ATO, “The primary function of Airport Lounge Clubs is to provide business facilities and prompt and efficient services relating to the travel of their members.

Now, you may be thinking the initial thought that also popped into my mind…what about the complimentary hors d’oeuvres and bottomless mimosas served to loungers? Don’t worry. It’s no huge secret and the ATO does in fact know what occurs. However, they simply state that this hospitality is ‘merely incidental to the primary function’ of the clubs’ business.  

 

Can the entire membership be deducted?

Taking a flight is not exclusive to business travelers however, it is essential to certain businesses. That being said, you can most certainly use your Qantas or Virgin memberships when you’re vacationing with friends or family too. With that in mind, you should be separating business use from personal, and only deducting the business percentage on your tax return. Read the rest of this entry »

ATO’s Dodgy Tax Deduction Crackdown

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.” –Graham Whyte

Tax agents will promise to maximise your refund if you choose to lodge your tax return with them. What you may not realize is that some will encourage you to claim too big of a refund – more than the ATO would deem you entitled to if they were aware of your actual tax situation. This definitely does not mean that they’re all out to get you. Just be wary, and don’t be too shy to ask the questions that you feel you need answers to.

Beginning this tax season, the ATO is really cracking down on certain tax deductions being claimed. If your tax return is “red flagged” by the tax office, the best that could happen is that your processing time is delayed because an ATO representative will need to review it further. The worst that could happen, in circumstances where a taxpayer has deliberately claimed an incorrect amount, is that an investigation could begin and you could be liable for multiple penalties.

 

Three Golden Rules to remember when claiming tax deductions.

Whether it’s a manual, e-book, or by word of mouth, there are a set of rules for almost everything. This even includes something that seems as simple as reporting tax deductions. When doing so, be sure to take into account these three rules of thumb:

  1. Make sure the expenses you claim have actually been incurred.
  2. Ensure that your expenses are 100% work-related.
  3. Keep the receipts to prove the claims are for valid expenses.

 

Let’s discuss some of the dodgy ones…

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Can I Claim Prior Year Deductions on My Current Year Tax Return?

No, you can’t. You will need to lodge an amended tax return.

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot just carry over prior year deductions from last year to your current year tax return. Whether you forgot to add up those weekly laundry costs for your uniforms or you just found the receipts for your work phone line, you’ll need to lodge an amended return to report these expenses.

 

How long do I have to lodge an amended tax return?

As an individual taxpayer or a small business, you can typically lodge an amended return within two years from the date of assessment or the date that your original return was lodged. Larger businesses typically have four years to lodge an amended tax return.

 

Is lodging an amended return worth the trouble?

Prior to lodging an amended return, you want to be sure of a few things:

  • The reported expense should be worth the tax preparation fees. You will most likely need to pay an additional fee to amend a tax return. The deduction you forgot to originally claim should at least exceed the price you will be charged for tax prep.
  • The expense cannot be claimed twice. You want to be 100% positive that you have not already claimed the expense otherwise the ATO will confirm that it wasn’t. If it was, your amended return will be rejected.
  • Have receipts to back up all expenses. Whether you are lodging an amended return or not, keep receipts and records of all expenses. You are not required to keep receipts for expenses under $300 but you still need to be able to account for them.

 

How do I lodge an amended tax return?

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Hairdresser’s Tax Deductions

As a hairdresser, you have to build your clientele and keep them happy so they come back for their next number 3. With big responsibility comes hefty out-of-pocket expenses. Read on to see which expenses you can deduct on your 2015 tax return.

 

Do you use your shears at home and in your salon downtown?

A home office doesn’t only mean a desk and fax machine, right?. If you bring clients to your home, there are certainly costs associated. These costs may dig into your bank account now but you’ll be able to claim most of these expenses as deductions come tax time. Such  deductible expenses include (but are not limited to):

  • portion of electricity used for work purposes
  • portion of internet used for work purposes
  • portion of heating and cooling used for work purposes
  • furniture used for work purposes (just in case you neeeeeed that 360 degree swivel chair!)

 

Keep your skills well honed!

It’s not just your shears that you should keep sharp. If you find that you haven’t quite mastered the asymmetrical sweep, you may want to head back for some schooling. The best part of it: the cost of the course or seminar that you attend could be deductible if the following applies:
  • The work related training course you’re attending is not run by a university or TAFE. Travel to and from is deductible too!
  • The self-education course you’re attending is run by a university or TAFE. The costs of books, stationery, travel and equipment required by the school is deductible also.

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Top Tax Deductions for Teachers

Since teaching isn’t the typical office gig, you may want to pay close attention to those extra expenses you’ve acquired. With the proper receipts and documentation, they could be deductible.

 

Travel expenses

You’re a teacher. Chances are you’re not racking up airfare and room service costs. However, there are specific travel expenses that teachers should keep track of and deduct on their tax return. Teachers who drive can typically use the kilometre method to track their travel costs. Receipts or a logbook are not required unless you are a regular commuter. Some examples of what you could claim as a deduction include:

#1. You travel from work and home. Your school does not provide a safe place for storage so you carry bulky or heavy equipment in your car for work purposes. ie: an art easel or a musical instrument

#2. Are you an itinerant teacher who travels between a different number of schools daily? Maybe you are a language teacher who helps specific students in three different schools each day. Travelling expenses incurred from school to school can be claimed on your tax return. Since you are travelling regularly, you will need to  keep a full logbook and/or receipts.

#3. You travel after you have started work for the day. Let’s say you’re employed at the high school and are required to attend a district-wide meeting mid-school day across town at the elementary school. Travelling to and from is deductible.

#4. If you are required to travel to a work-related event after your typical school day has ended, you can deduct the costs incurred using the kilometre method. For example, there is a district-wide teachers conference that you are expected to attend on Tuesday night across town and you’ll be driving there from your school. This is deductible.

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