If you’ve earned an income over the past year, you’ll need to complete a tax return.
If you’ve earned an income over the past year, you’ll need to complete a tax return. The good news is you may even get a refund through it. And you could start thinking about saving that return now.
You can lodge your tax return yourself through the ATO anytime after the end of the financial year, which is in June. And you need to complete your tax return before the end of October.
If you’re new to work, make sure you keep track of any work-related expenses throughout the year so you can claim them at tax time. This could include your work uniform or transport costs, any working from home costs or even office supplies. What you claim on tax reduces your overall taxable income.
Before you lodge your claim, you can use this calculator to estimate how much you might need to pay in income tax. To make your claim, simply link your MyGov account to the government’s tax tool MyTax.
When you do so, make sure you declare all your income investing any money you’ve earned through investments or a side-hustle or any interest you’ve earned on your savings.
If your taxes are a little more complex - for example, if you’re a sole trader or a gig worker - you could employ a registered tax agent if it makes it feel a little easier. This will cost you money, but they may make the load a little easier to manage and you can also claim the cost as a tax deduction.
The government may penalise or reward you at tax time for taking out health insurance, depending on your situation.
Knowing about the surcharges and incentives can help you make a decision about whether to take out health insurance, and if you decide to, what insurance it’s worth paying the money for. Keep in mind you won’t pay these charges if you earn under a certain amount or choose not to take out health cover later.
Here’s what to be aware of:
If you invest, have a side-hustle or have earned interest on savings, you’ll need to include any money you earn through investments on your tax return - whether it’s interest, dividends, capital gains or otherwise.
What is a capital loss and a capital gain?
When it comes to tax time, you’ll need to make sure your bank or investment app (if you use one) has your tax file number on file. If you don’t provide your tax file number, the organisation you invest through may withhold tax at the highest personal rate before passing on any distributions (or earnings).
Before you lodge your tax return make sure you have details of the income you’ve earned through investments handy. These could be rental payments or dividend statements for example.
If you’re claiming a capital loss, you’ll need copies of expenses you’ve paid while owning the investment. For example, you’ll need to keep receipts of renovation costs if you’ve renovated an investment property.