Money

Getting ready for the end of financial year: tips for getting ahead with your taxes

A H&R Block tax expert shares his tips to make sure tax time a happy time.

By Holly Royce

We're already a week into June, which means June 30 - aka End of the Financial Year aka Accountants' Christmas - is just around the corner. Hey, don't look too excited, it doesn't have to be all stress and worry!

You've taken the first step towards making tax time as stress-free as possible. Now to Love spoke to the Director of Tax Communications at H&R Block, Mark Chapman, who has given us an End of Financial Year Checklist for 2018.

By getting your tax affairs in order and some simple last minute planning, you can help to maximise your return.

Here are Mark's tips for a happy tax time.

Check your paper work

Take some time out to gather together all the information you will need to help you prepare your tax returns, including invoices and receipts for work-related expenses and any bank/credit card statements that contain items of work-related expenses that you no longer have (or never had) receipts or invoices for.

If you're not sure if it's claimable, collect together the receipt or invoice anyway and discuss it with your tax agent. If you don't have the paperwork, you can't claim a deduction so it makes sense to set aside this time in advance of the end of the financial year to spare yourself a stressful document hunt whilst you're actually in the process of getting your return prepared!

In addition, if you're claiming any expenses that have a work-related element and a private element (such as for the use of a personal mobile phone) set some time aside to work out what a reasonable apportionment is for the work-related bit.

Do some last minute planning

As we've not yet reached the end of the financial year, it's not too late to generate some additional tax deductions this tax year:

• If you have any professional subscriptions or union fees due, pay by 30 June and you can claim the deduction for the whole amount this year.

• Charitable donations are tax deductible – anything over $2, with a receipt, paid to a charity registered as a deductible gift recipient (which covers most major charities) will be deductible.

• If you have some spare cash, look at making a personal contribution into your super fund. Provided the total amount of your contributions (including the contributions made on your behalf by your employer)
does not exceed $25,000, this can be a great way to boost your retirement savings and claim a tax deduction for the personal contribution.

The payment must be made by June 30th and you need to advise your super fund that you've made the payment by the time you lodge your return (your super fund or accountant can give you guidance on how to complete the form and there's a standard form on the ATO website