Do you ever find yourself searching for expense receipts from 12 months ago? You are not alone!
A recent study conducted by the Commonwealth Bank found that lost receipts are costing one in two Australians an average $1000 in tax rebates every year. Can you afford to miss out on $1000 in extra deductions this year?
Not only is it money that’s being lost, but the study also noted taxpayers spend on average 2.2 hours looking for receipts to support their return.
Now we know you’ve all got better things to do than spend hours looking for receipts and that’s why we’ve come up with an easy record keeping plan which will save you time, and hopefully increase your refund!
- Go out and grab ten folders. Use manila, accordion files, manila envelopes - whichever you prefer. (Don’t use plastic sleeves because the ink on receipts can stick to them which is a nightmare later on).
- Label your folders – one for 2012, 2013 all the way to 2021. (Remember the ATO requires you to keep records for at least five years).
- Put this year’s folder somewhere visible. Don’t hide it away where you will forget about it; have it close on hand so you can put your receipts in as soon as you get them.
Try following these easy steps for keeping receipts and maximising your tax refund:
- Collect and keep every relevant receipt.
a. When you pay for anything work related, keep your receipt and put it in your tax folder.
b. If you work from home (even only occasionally), keep your invoices for the telephone, power, water, internet and office supplies. And, be sure to keep a diary about how much time you spend working at home.
c. Do you have expenses relating to an investment property? Keep your receipts.
d. Donated to a charity? Put the receipts into the folder.
e. Driving for work purposes (not including to-and-from home), write down your dates and mileage in a logbook or diary.
If you aren’t sure whether a receipt is deductable, keep it! Come tax time, ask your Etax accountant for advice. Better to keep it all now than to miss out on valuable, tax saving deductions.
- Don’t use a highlighter on your receipts - the ink used on some receipts soon disappears if a highlighter is used on it. If you can't read your receipt, then you can't use it as part of your deduction claims.
Now, when tax time arrives, you simply open your tax folder for this year and all of the deductions that will boost your refund are in one easy place. Simple!
If you would like more information, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.