While lodgement of your tax return can begin from 1 July, you have a much higher chance of submitting a return with incorrect or missing information.
This is because some information that will automatically be pre-filled on your return (such as PAYG or STP information from your employer) will likely not have been lodged with the ATO.
If you forget to include everything, it will slow down the progress of your return, and you’ll likely end up with more work to do down the track. Lodging your return in late July is more likely to result in lodging a return with the information you need for a correct and proper refund.
We want to help you make this tax return season the smoothest it can be – here are our top tips for you.
- Make sure to get your deductions right on the first go and claim what you are entitled to – some tax deductions are no longer available (such as the shortcut method), so utilising out-of-date deductions could throw up a major red flag for the ATO.
- Make sure your work-related claims reflect your working arrangements for this financial year – if you are in a hybrid working arrangement for your role, you must provide proof.
- If you want to claim bills such as electricity and gas as a part of working from home, you need to keep evidence of the expenses, such as a monthly or quarterly bill.
- If you want to claim motor vehicle expenses as part of your return, make sure you know the rules, or speak with a professional adviser for assistance with complying.
- Keep ALL records of any deductions that you may be claiming for, and make sure you have the records to back up any claims made.
- Be aware that self-education expenses and training costs are different types of deductions that apply to different things. Incorrectly claiming expenses under one of these can raise red flags for the ATO.
- Check that all available pre-fill data (including group certificates and your health insurance, if applicable) has been populated in the form.
When it comes to your tax return this year, don’t trust that things will be as simple as copying your tax return from the previous year.
If you have made a mistake in your lodgement, you can fix the errors or omissions through the ATO’s online amendment process (accessible via myGov) or by consulting a registered tax agent, like us.