Robert Eastoe, Principal at Crowe Horwath’s Launceston firm, has set out below is a checklist of items you should consider and documentation you should provide at your tax return appointment when preparing your 2015 return.
“It pays to prepare well for your tax appointment,” says Eastoe.
“I encourage my clients to keep their documents organised and have a file, whether through a business-based cloud accounting system or an old fashioned manila folder.
“A good starting point is following a basic checklist and keeping a record of previous tax return documents for your accountant to review. Also talk to your financial advisor about your lifestyle goals and how you might need to adjust your spending or investments as the new financial year,” Eastoe added.
Using the checklist will help to maximise your tax refund or minimise your tax payable. Please review the following checklist for items relevant to you.
Centrelink: Benefit, Pension, Annuity Statements
Employer payments: PAYG Payment Summaries (Group Certificates), Allowances (including meal, travel, fares, site, uniform, laundry and tools) and ascertain the nature of the allowance, including whether the allowance was paid under an award.
Lump Sum Payments (Eligible Termination Payments): Your “Statement of Termination Payment” information must be included in your Tax Return. If not received, contact the provider.
Interest: For any accounts held with a bank or financial institution (including joint accounts), we generally require details of the branch, account number, name of account holder and amount received for each account. If TFN withholding tax has been deducted, please provide the amount of tax deducted.
Dividends: Details of each company you have acquired shares in and received paid dividends from. We require dividend statements to review franking credits received (includes employee share schemes).
Capital Gains: Have you disposed (sale or gift) of property, shares or investments? Provide detailed information about acquisition costs and disposal proceeds received.
Rental Property: Provide all income and expense details, including loan statements.
Work Deductions: Summarise details of expenditure including invoices/ receipts or other documentation as evidence of payments.
Car Expenses: You may be eligible to claim employment related travel. Have you kept a log book or other records?
Uniforms and Protective Clothing: The cost of purchasing conventional clothing is not deductible. However, if the cost falls into one of the eligible categories below you may be able to claim the cost of purchase, cleaning, dry-cleaning and maintenance.
– Protective clothing
– Compulsory uniform
– Occupational clothing
– Industry specific clothing
A claim may also be allowed for sun protection items, e.g. sunscreen, hats and sunglasses if you work outdoors.
Self Education: Details of the nature of the course undertaken, a list of expenses incurred and supporting documentation.
Union Fees: If not included on your Payment Summary (Group Certificate), you will need to provide details of amounts paid.
Gifts/Donations: List each charitable institution and amount paid.
Income Protection: Did you pay any personal insurance premiums for the last financial year? Some forms of personal insurance are tax deductible. Provide your annual policy schedule.
Tax returns for individuals
– Bank fees applicable to investment and interest bearing accounts
– Conferences, seminars and training courses that relate to your employment
– Tools and equipment
– Technical journals and subscriptions
Superannuation: Personal contributions paid to a complying superannuation fund before 30 June 2015 may be eligible for the co-contribution.
Private Health Insurance: Provide the Tax statement from your fund.
Medical Expenses: Provide details if net medical expenses exceed $2,218 after deducting Medicare and health insurance refunds. This tax offset can be claimed in the 2015 financial year if you claimed the tax offset in the 2014 financial year of the medical expenses incurred related to disability aids, attendant care or aged care services. Note the medical expenses tax offset is a benefit that is now means tested.
Child Support Payments: Provide details of amounts paid for child support by you or your spouse.
Tax Audits: The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) continues to devote more and more resources to Tax Audits. This highlights the importance of keeping all relevant documentation to substantiate claims. If these documents are not available, claims may be disallowed, and penalties and interest imposed. Talk to a Crowe Horwath advisor about setting up a Tax Sure Audit Retainer for peace of mind in the event of an ATO audit for income tax, goods and services tax or superannuation.
Tax Tips courtesy of:
Robert Eastoe, Principal
62 Patterson Street, Launceston
p. 03 6323 1222