All individuals earning in Australia are liable to pay taxes to the government. If you are working for an organization and receive a salary, things are relatively easier for you, because your employer pays the taxes on your behalf. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t lodge your taxes. There are two major reasons why you must lodge your taxes.
Your employer might not be aware of other incomes and any mismatch can get you on to the radar of the ATO.
You can opt for deductions related to your work or other applicable deductions.
And the most obvious reason of them all being, if you have paid more money in taxes, you can get it back.
Before you get started with lodging your taxes, it is crucial to know if you really must do it. Well, it is another way of saying you must check if you owe any taxes in the first place. There are several online calculators which will help you make that assessment whether or not you owe any taxes. If the answer is a Yes, you can do the following to lodge your taxes.
Steps to File taxes
Of course, there is more than one mode of lodging your taxes in Australia. But the most preferred and even recommended way is online. When you lodge your taxes online, the entire process is incredibly fast and easy. Not to mention several aids that you have instant access to as well. If you are lodging your taxes for the very first time in Australia, here are the steps.
Before starting, get your Tax File Number or TFN with you. It is also advisable to have any one of the documents such as passport, birth certificate or certificate of citizenship.
You must visit the myGov website and create an account over there.
In order to complete the account creation process, you must verify the newly opened account. To do so, you must call at 132861, follow the instructions and press 5. This will lead you to get the unique linking code for your new account. Use the same to complete the account opening process. The code is valid only for 24 hours, so make it a point to finish the account opening process as soon as possible.
You must now log in to your myGov account and go to the services tab. Over there you will find a link to ATO where you must select ‘I have a linking code’. The website will prompt you with some instructions, follow the same.
Your initial set up for using the services provided by the ATO is now complete. You can go to the myTax link and start with your tax lodging.
If you are not very comfortable with filing your taxes online, you can always do it via a tax agent. Make sure you are availing the services of only registered agents for your tax filing and returns.
Alternatively, you can do it the old school way as well. The ATO still allows you to lodge your taxes via paper returns. You can fill up the forms, provide supporting documents and mail the same. The refunds or processing usually takes up to 50 business days. You can convert those 50 business days into roughly two weeks if you go online.
These are the seven easy steps of filing your taxes in Australia. Should you have any doubts about the process, the ATO website provides exhaustive information and is quite helpful. Once you are ready with your documents, you can lodge them between 1st of July to 31st of October.
For individuals working in Australia, life is no different at least from a taxation point of view. You are liable to pay taxes on the money that you earn as salary, wages, returns from renting out places, interests and dividends earned, profits that you have made by selling shares or properties and so on. But as is the case with any country that levies taxes, you can opt for deductions to reduce your tax liability. Should you decide to choose any of the deductions, the same is subtracted from your income to arrive at a net taxable income. Here are some of the deductions that you can avail.
Keeping a track of all of your work related travel expenses will come in handy during the tax filing season. If you are someone who uses his/her car for business related travels, you can claim the amount for your taxes. The only caveat being, you must be the owner of the car and have a track of all the expenses. You need to be careful with this deduction as the following are not allowed.
Claiming expenses for daily commute to the office.
Claiming expenses if you are working late and public transport is not available.
Claiming expenses if you must attend parent teachers meeting or leave office due to some other security concerns.
There are quite a few work place environments that expect you to dress up in a certain way. For an instance, some might expect you to come in suits while others will expect you to sport the company’s emblem or logo on your shirt. You can check with your employer if there are certain clauses under which you can claim for the same.
The deduction allows you to claim money that you spend explicitly to get ready for your profession. You can also claim clothing that protects you from potential injuries or accidents. The same is not restricted only to clothing, as footwear is also included. You can also claim the deduction if your company demands to place its logo on your shirts.
Deductions related to Working From Home
Few professions let you work from the comfort of your homes. If your line of work allows you to work from home either partially or completely, you can avail benefits under home office deductions. In an ideal world you are required to have a separate room to claim the same. However, if it’s a multipurpose room, you can only claim for the number of hours you spent for work.
This clause lets you get devices, computers, phones or other equipment that you might need to perform your duties. You can also claim the running electricity bills for the same. You can claim up to a maximum of $300 for computers and other devices. The clause also lets you claim phone bills, if you use it only for business purposes.
It is not unknown for organizations to gift their employees based on merits or otherwise. You can claim these gifts or donations as long as the same has a Deductible Gift Receipts status. The following are the only criteria for claiming under gifts and donations.
It must be a genuine gift and not just for namesake.
Any form of money, financial assets or property is acceptable.
DGR status must be associated.
Ensure to verify the DGR conditions as they might vary.
If all of the above conditions are met you can claim the amount as long as it exceeds $2. The rules and regulations change when it comes to property, so you need to read the finer lines for a better understanding.