9th June 2011
Individual tax returns can vary in complexity depending on how you made your income and what other investments you have. However, this is a quick guide to help you prepare for your interview with BMO’s taxation specialists.
Preparing for your Interview:
Bring your PAYG Payment Summary (formerly known as a “group certificate”). Your employer is generally required to provide you with this prior to 14 August 2011. This summarises how much income you earned and how much tax you have already paid throughout the year.
Gather your receipts for tax deductible items. Deductible items vary for different professions, but they can include expenses you have legitimately incurred whilst carrying out your job and/or self-education expenses.
• Did you receive interest for any of your bank accounts? Even if it’s only a dollar or two it will need to be declared in your tax return.
• Do you own any shares? Did you receive dividends? We need copies of the dividend statements you have received throughout the year.
• Did you make a donation? Find your receipts, as donations over $2 maybe tax deductible..
• Do you have private health care? We will need your Private Health Insurance Statement, which you should receive in July.
• Did you have significant medical expenses during the year? Bring your receipts for out-of-pocket mediacl expenses including prescribed medications. If it’s more than $2,000 for the year, you maybe able to claim some back.
• Do you have work related travel to claim? Do you have a log book or diary outlining your kilometres travelled?
• Do you have a child at school? If so you may be eligible to claim some of your child’s school related expenses. Bring in your receipts and records of children’s education expenses including software, computers, and text books.
• Did you pay for income protection insurance during the year? If so please bring your information as in some circumstances the premiums may be deductible.
What you also need to consider…
RECORDS ARE VITAL. If you can’t show the appropriate record and/or proof of purchase, you may be limited in what you can claim.
Don’t forget to tell us about any additional income you have made, any major equipment and/or assets you have purchased, and any changes to your circumstances as this can all have an impact on your tax return.
When in doubt – tell us about it. If you’re not sure if a record or receipt is relevant to your tax return, just bring it with you. We can have a look and advise you accordingly.
We have seen many people get caught because they tried to do their own tax return and tried to claim for things that were not legitimate. There are many different rules that apply to different occupations. BMO takes our role very seriously and will work with you to try and achieve the best possible tax return for you within the ATO’s guidelines.
Use the interview as a chance to talk about plans for the next financial year, for example - If you are looking at purchasing a business, investing, want to review your budget, get tips on better record keeping, or review your insurances (such as life and income protection). Just let us know when you are booking your appointment that you’d like a little longer to talk through some of these things and we can ensure we arrange a suitable time.
Disclaimer – information provided in this article is general in nature. In preparing information BMO Accountants, BMO Financial Solutions and BMO Lending Services have not taken into account any particular persons objectives, financial situation or needs. Investors should, before acting on this information, consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to their objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend obtaining financial advice specific to their situation before making any financial decisions or investments.
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