When you do your tax return each year, are you sure you claim the full 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?
In Australia, many people are unaware of all the tax deductions they’re entitled to. After all, Australia’s taxation system can be complicated, and there are lots of rules about what you can and can’t claim.
However, if you take the right steps, you can get more dollars in your pocket at tax time.
Here are 3 easy ways you can get a bigger tax refund this year.
#1 – Ask Your Tax Agent Questions
Do you know every single 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 reported in 2016.
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 eligible to claim work-related mobile phone costs, car expenses, superannuation contributions, union fees… the list goes on!
Claiming just one extra expense 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 the Etax App (or online)
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 app.
The Etax app lets you take a snapshot of your receipts the moment you get them in your hand. The image is uploaded to Etax, and saved for you to use at tax time. You can categorise the expense, record the exact amount, and add other notes. Best of all, when you log into Etax.com.au to do your tax return, your receipts will all be there for you in one place.
Not using the mobile app?
You can still scan and attach receipts into your online tax return at Etax.com.au.
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: