Tips for Preparing for End of Year Tax Time

Accountants in Adelaide and surrounding areas know that many people dread tax time, ignoring it for as long as possible. This is the worst thing you can do, especially if you ignore it all year as well.

The best way to get a handle on tax returns is to be prepared and this usually includes working towards it throughout the year.

Make sure you are not one of those people thrown into a panic at tax time by following these tips to make things easier:

  •  Use your computer to help you keep records. Getting simple accounting software – and learning to use it properly – really will make life easier at tax time, whether you do the tax yourself or leave it all with your chartered accountants in Adelaide.  
  • If you run a business, accounting software is a necessity rather than an optional extra. It will save you a great deal of time and prevent costly mistakes.
  • Choosing a cloud accounting solution will allow your accountant to have access online all the time, saving time and hassle. This is especially good for when you choose a new accountant who needs to access the previous year’s details.
  • Scan and store electronically any receipts for expenses and other paperwork so you have it on hand for your accountant. There are plenty of apps like Dropbox or Google Drive that you can use to upload and store photos of your receipts – many accounting programs will also link right into these.
  • Download electronic bank statements as PDFs or import them straight into your software accounting system.
  • Save time; use the online banking feature to get a copy of your bank interest, rather than working it out month by month from bank statements.
  • If you’re not always near a computer try keeping records on your smart phone or go old school and log them in a notebook – however you do it, just make sure you keep careful records of all transactions, incoming and outgoing, as it happens, rather than leaving it for months and risk forgetting all about it.
  • Keep a special place for all your tax information so that you know exactly where it is when the time comes. This can be as simple as a shoebox or two, but a filing cabinet is even better to help you keep track of things properly.
  • If this is your first tax return, or if you are moving to a new tax agent in Adelaide, it is essential to contact them before the 31st of October to qualify for their later lodgement dates, otherwise you may have to pay a late penalty.
  • Remember that anyone who does their own tax has to have it in by the end of October to avoid a late penalty.
  • Whether your tax return is for a business or an individual, it is important to keep abreast of changes to tax laws to avoid penalties from wrong information. That is why it is better to use an accountant than do it yourself, especially if your tax is more complicated than a simple income from being employed. Tax agents make it their business to know what changes have happened since the last year.
  • Talk to your accountant and get them to explain anything you don’t understand. It’s their job to explain what they are doing and why, and it will help you to understand more about the many ins and outs of tax rules and the implications for you personally or for your business.

Many people work from home either full-time or part-time. Even if you are employed in a regular job but also have an investment property, you will do work at home in that capacity.  

Talk to your accountant about what you can claim for working at home. If you convert a spare bedroom into an office, you will be able to claim part of your electricity expenses as well as your Internet expenses. But if you simply use a corner of the dining room, this won’t be possible because that is not considered an office.  All these things can make a considerable difference to your tax bill or return.

There are many legal ways to reduce your tax, from making more deductible contributions to your super fund to prepaying certain expenses or to choosing the right time of year to sell an investment – or buy one. Your accountant can help you with this kind of advice, which is why it is necessary to talk with them on a regular basis so that they know what your plans are. 

Most chartered accountants in Adelaide are able help their clients to reach their business goals in this way.

The advice that a tax agent in Adelaide can give about how to save money at tax time is invaluable, so don’t lose out on this in order to avoid to avoid paying fees – they’re tax deductible anyway. It is far better to get everything done right first off, so you won’t have to pay ATO penalties of any kind. You will also be sure of getting all the deductions you are eligible for.

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