When you do your tax return each year, do you get the full tax refund you’re entitled to? Are you looking for a bigger tax refund, but don’t know where to start and don’t want to get in trouble with the ATO?
In Australia, millions of people miss some of the tax deductions they’re entitled to. That means people don’t get the tax refund they deserve. Is that you?
Australia’s taxation system can be complicated, and there are lots of rules about what you can and can’t claim. Getting tax deductions right isn’t simple, but there are ways to get help and get it right.
Here are some ways you can get more dollars in your pocket at tax time.
#1 – Ask Your Tax Agent Questions
Do you know every deduction and work-related expense that you’re legally entitled to claim on your tax return?
For most of us, the answer to this question is “no”. That’s why most Aussies use a tax agent – more than 74 per cent use an agent like Etax.com.au, according to ATO figures.
Just ask your tax agent about tax-deductible expenses and what you can claim, because they can often suggest an additional deduction you didn’t know about.
For example, did you know that, unless they’re paid through your superannuation, you can claim your income protection insurance premiums?
You may also be able to claim work-related mobile phone costs, car expenses, superannuation contributions, union fees… the list goes on!
Claiming just one extra deduction could mean hundreds of dollars more at tax time, helping you to get a much bigger tax refund. So be sure to ask your tax agent!
#2 – Save Your Receipts with an Online Tool like Etax
For every work-related purchase you make, it’s important to save your receipts so you can claim the expenses on your tax return. (In fact, not only is it important – it’s the law!)
Saving your receipts helps you to claim more expenses, which is why it’s a great way to get a better tax refund.
By far the easiest way to save your receipts is by using the Etax website.
If you’re using a mobile phone, this button will even let you use your phone camera to snap and save receipts, right into your tax return. Later you can log in and find all your receipts ot your “My Files” page in the Etax menu.
#3 – Claim Work-Related Mobile Phone Expenses
If you use your mobile phone for work-related calls, then you can also claim a proportion of your yearly mobile phone bill on your tax return.
To work out the proportion of your mobile phone bill you can claim, you’ll need a monthly account statement from a “typical” month, and a calculator. Work out the percentage of work related calls you made, and then claim that percentage of your yearly bill.
For step-by-step instructions on claiming mobile phone costs, read this article on calculating your mobile phone tax claim.
Claiming your mobile phone expenses can give your tax return a great boost. If 40% of your calls are work-related, and you spend $660 a year on your phone bill, you can claim $264 of work related mobile phone expenses on your tax return. For someone earning $60,000, that could mean more than $70 more in your refund!
The Refund You’re Entitled To
At Etax, we’re passionate about helping you claim the full tax refund you’re entitled to.
That’s why, at tax time, we have 2 tax accountants check your tax return to look for extra opportunities for claiming legitimate deductions before we submit it to the ATO. In July, our accountants are also available to answer your questions via the chat function on our online tax return.
Always remember: Only claim legitimate deductions. These are work-related expenses you’ve kept the receipts for. That way, you’ll be safe from any trouble with the ATO, which means more money in your pocket in the long run.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about tax deductions and how to get a bigger refund, check out these other articles: