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Tax time is here!

Another financial year has ended and its time to get your documents together for your 2018 tax return. At BMO, we recommend getting your tax return completed by a professional tax agent (accountant) to ensure you don’t miss out on legislative deductions you might not know you’re entitled to, therefore increasing your possible refund.

Work-related deductions are a key factor in any return and it’s important to remember that honesty is always the best policy. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) now conducts a large amount of data matching.  The ATO has the ability to check taxpayers’ deductions in real-time as their return is completed. It has methods to data match your claims and deductions against those in the same occupation and income brackets, so if there are anomalies, they may take a closer look, like checking into your social media accounts.

Car expenses is an area that often gets people. Remember you can only claim a deduction when you use your car to perform your job as an employee. Most people cannot claim the cost of travel between home and work because this travel is mostly deemed private.

Car expenses aren’t the only area in the firing line, the ATO said it would be paying extra attention to people whose deduction claims are higher than expected such as deductions for travel, internet, mobile phone and self-education.

It’s essential to keep records and receipts as it is your only proof of your claim and as the ATO tightens the belt, you could be asked to verify your claims.

Now is also a good time for you to revisit your personal or family budget and make sure that you have plans in place to grow your wealth and ensure your insurances are up-to-date.

There are different rules for different occupations, so once again, we suggest you use a registered tax agent or qualified accountant to assist with your tax return.

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Christine Town

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