Being prepared for your tax appointment will save a lot of time and energy for you and your accountant. Having all the right information and documents will also mean you can claim the best tax refund possible. But what is the right information?
If you are a new client bring your previous year’s tax return, as this will include all your personal details to begin this year’s return and give your accountant a great starting point. What else to bring will depend on your activities throughout the financial year. Information and documentation regarding your income and expenses are essential and can take the form of:
a PAYG summary will be provided to you by your employer. It will include your gross payments, total tax withheld and any allowances, fringe benefits or reportable super received during the financial year. It can also contain employer paid deductions such as union fees or donations. Each employer provides one of these statements, so you will have more than one if you have worked for several employers during the year. If your employment has been terminated during the year, and a lump sum was received, then this documentation will also be required.
Income through investments needs to be declared, the most common type of investment income is through rental properties, dividends, and interest earned. All information regarding investment income needs to be brought along for your tax appointment. More information on investment income though rental properties, including the right amount to claim, can be found here.
A capital gain is the income received when an investment is sold for more than was originally purchased for. This includes the sale of investment property or shares. The information necessary for capital gains includes the purchase date and cost of the investment and the sale date and proceeds received.
A summary of your expenses along with the receipts should be brought in as you will need to provide proof for your deductions. The most common types of work related deductions include:
- Use of motor vehicle for business travel
- Purchase of a uniform or protective clothing
- Protective clothing expenses and/or laundry expenses
- Self-education expenses
- Home office running expense – eg Internet, Electricity
- Tools of trade
- Telephone expenses
- Subscriptions to trade magazines
- Cost of preparing previous year tax return
- Income Protection Insurance Premiums
A comprehensive list of deductions, and how much can be claimed, can be found on the ATO website however, your accountant will be able to clear up any confusion.
Other information that is needed for your tax return includes:
- Bank accounts details for the ATO deposit your refund to;
- Private health cover statement
- Medical expenses
- Contact details, if they have changed since your last return
- Details regarding any dependents or spouse
If there is any other information that you feel is relevant to you tax, don’t be afraid to bring it to your appointment. Your accountant will have no trouble clearing up any concerns or queries you have.