The new tax year is upon us. Being on the go with a busy lifestyle can make it hard to keep on top of everything you want to claim each financial year. Often this means that when it comes to tax time you find yourself scrabbling to find a years’ worth of receipts to get your tax info in order.
To make the coming tax year a breeze, we’ve put together some savvy tools you can use to stay on top of your tax documents. From apps and software to budgeting aids, check out our recommendations below and get started on the right foot for tax time next year!
First things first, do you know what you can claim? It’s important to be familiar with what you’re entitled to claim and what is classified as a work expense. Bet you didn’t know that in some instances you can claim a handbag or work bag or any overtime meals, did you? To make sure you know what deductions you can make against your tax, check out a full list of the deductions you can claim on the ATO website. There are also sections specific to jobs so if you’re not sure about your profession and what can be claimed, head here.
To make sure you have your head wrapped around all things tax, there are a number of other tools on the ATO website including; what income you must declare, a breakdown of the records you need to keep on file and information on offsets and rebates such as your health insurance.
Okay, move away from the calculator and hop on over to one of these apps to sort out those tax numbers! Whether your tax return is simple or a little more complex, there are some apps that can help you out.
The ATO app (available for free on Google Play, iOS, and Microsoft) makes it simple for you to keep your tax deductions and income all in one place. To get set up, open the ATO app and select if you want to use the app as an individual, sole trader, or both. Then head to the Individuals or Business tab, select myDeductions and follow the prompts. One thing to note is you can only upload once per financial year so be sure to use the same device throughout the year so all your data is in one place. When it comes to tax time, you can upload your completed records to the ATO from the myDeductions tool and it will pre-fill your tax return. Alternatively, if you use a registered tax agent, you can email your records straight to them. That’s pretty efficient, right?
Tax Return by Pocketbook is available for free exclusively on iOS. With the purpose of making tax submissions easy, questions have been designed without the tax jargon so that you can understand them so that you can get through your return in just 10 minutes. Similar to the apps above you can take pictures of your documents such as receipts and invoices so that you can upload them easily. You do need to pay when it comes time to lodge your tax return but if you have any questions along the way you can message an accountant inside the app for assistance.
If you use a financial or budgeting app, they usually have functions to ensure that you never forget to claim an allowable tax deduction again. With apps such as Pocketbook you can start tagging items that will be important throughout the year so that when it comes to sort your tax, you have it ready to go and all in one place.
Users of the app MoneyBrilliant will be able to configure the tax settings so that the app can flag transactions that might be tax deductible – just in case you forget! You can also set deductible proportions for expenses that are only partially work related and add note to pictures of receipts you’ve taken so you have all your evidence ready to go for tax time. When the end of the financial year rolls around, you can easily generate a summary for your accountant or financial advisor.
While you may not feel the need for a completely decked-out accounting system, there are a few options out there that are specifically designed for small business. Xero and QuickBooks Online allow you to track cash flow, create and send invoices, and link all your bank accounts, including PayPal!
This is an easy way to stay on top of your expenses and manage your transactions for the businesses that are tax deductible. By categorising your expenses and grouping together recurring bills, tax time is so much simpler!
QuickBooks Online even has a self-employed app designed for freelancers and small business owners who tend to have multiple income sources from clients and customers. With invoice dates and payments here and there, tax time can be a struggle but with the app you can quickly send invoices and capture expense receipts while you’re on the go.
If you’re sorted for this year and ready to start planning for next year these tools will hopefully come in handy. If you’re yet to wrap things up for this year, you can lodge your tax return online using myTax. If you’re lodging your own tax return, you have until 31 October 2018 to lodge it.
Are you tax savvy? Share you tax management suggestions in the comments below.
Hi Gordon, with the previous tax year recently coming to an end, hopefully these tips are handy for starting off the new tax year and keeping all deductions logged.
Maybe helpful for next year – if things haven’t changed too much, but I’ve already got my refund for this year, so too late to help me.