Australians are being urged to get their income affairs in order as the deadline for self-submitted tax returns draws near.The deadline for this year’s tax is just six days away on Thursday October 31, otherwise those earning an income in Australia will face additional late penalties.
If you like to do your own tax return, now is the time to make sure you have your relevant group certificates (that is, a proof of income from your employer or employers), your receipts and any additional income you may have earnt.
Mark Chapman, Director of Tax Communications for H&R Block, tells 9news.com.au that many residents may forget additional sources of income when completing their returns.
“The key things people need to remember is that you need to ensure you’re including all of your taxable income, including stuff people occasionally forget such as rental income, bank interest or stuff like driving for Uber,” explains Chapman.”Secondly people need to make sure they are claiming all the deductions they are entitled to and equally as important, make sure they’re not claiming anything they’re not entitled to.”
If you’re not going through a registered tax agent, Chapman says you’ll need to be extra careful that you are correctly claiming expenses like laundry and travel.
“I think that people are more likely to get their deductions wrong if they aren’t using a tax agent,” warns Chapman.”That could be in terms of not claiming things they’re entitled to or putting through dodgy things they’re not entitled to claim.”
NOT ENOUGH TIME? MAKE THE PHONE CALL TO AN AGENT
Your affairs are in tatters, you don’t know where your group certificate is and your work’s HR department is slower than molasses in a slow cooker.Not to worry – because there is a way you can extend next week’s tax deadline.”Tax agents have concessional extensions for lodgement,” says Chapman.
Play VideoThousands rush to file tax cuts package is passed”So if you’re not currently registered with a tax agent and you don’t think you’re going to meet the deadline of next Thursday, the thing to do is to go in and get yourself registered with a tax agent by the deadline.
“Registering with a tax agent is not the same as fully completing your tax – so just a conversation could save you hundreds in late fees and tax office complaints.”Provided you’re on the taxation books by next Thursday you don’t actually need to do your return, you just need to go in, sign up and that will give you access to the longer deadline,” explains Chapman.
“For the initial conversation you’d only need to take proof of identity, because the tax agent will need to prove that you are who you say you are.”Things like your driver’s licence and passport, and that kind of stuff.”
Most people are put off doing their tax because it’s seen as too fiddly, too complex and kind of scary – but Chapman says there could be a big payday in the works for many.”Just remember until you lodge your tax return you can’t get your hands on the low to middle income tax offset, which is worth potentially $1,080 so it is potentially very financially worthwhile to get your tax in on time,” says Chapman.”And in next year’s tax return you’ll also get to claim this year’s tax agent fees.”
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