The coats are out of storage, it’s getting harder to get out of bed in the morning and the heaters are suddenly being turned up to full blast. It must be winter.
And as an accountant, for me that means tax time. So here are seven quick to-dos that could save you some cash before 30 June.
1. Dig out your income protection policy information
Did you know that if you have income protection insurance you can claim a tax deduction? Make a note of the cost of your premiums so you can add it to your tax return.
2. Donate to charity
If you’ve been thinking about donating to your favourite charity but haven’t quite gotten around to it, now is your time. Any donations you’ve made are tax-deductible, as long as you have a tax receipt.
3. Buy that new work/laptop bag (yep!)
It might sound crazy, but it’s true. If you’re carrying your laptop to and from work in your bag every day you’re entitled to claim the purchase of that bag as a tax deduction. Again, make sure you keep the receipt and yes, I’m serious!
4. Check you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to
There are a number of available tax deductions that can often be missed. Check out this handy ATO guide for tax-deductible work-related expenses by occupation.
5. Boost your super and claim a tax deduction
If you contribute some of your after-tax income or savings into super, you may be eligible to claim a tax deduction. This means you’ll reduce your taxable income for this financial year – and potentially pay less tax. And at the same time, you’ll be boosting your super balance.
The contribution is generally taxed at up to 15 per cent in the fund (or up to 30 per cent if a higher income earner). Depending on your circumstances, this is potentially a lower rate than your marginal tax rate, which could be up to 47 per cent (including the Medicare Levy) – which could save you up to 32 per cent.
Once you’ve made the contribution to your super, you need to send a valid ‘Notice of Intent’ to your super fund, and receive an acknowledgement from them, before you complete your tax return, start a pension, or withdraw or rollover the money.
Keep in mind that personal deductible contributions count towards the concessional contribution cap, which is $25,000 for this 2017/18 financial year (which also includes all employer contributions, including Superannuation Guarantee and salary sacrifice). Penalties may apply if you exceed the cap – so it’s important that you stay within the limits.