Be prepared: What you need to bring to your tax return appointment
If you’re coming in soon to discuss your tax return for yourself or your business, try not to turn up completely empty handed, or at least to turn up prepared with some records or electronic access to them.
To “be prepared” is not just a great scouting motto, but a wise approach for everyone, especially at Tax Time. It will also save a lot of time and effort for both yourself and for us.
If you are a new client, it is always smart to arm yourself with last year’s tax return or access to it if online. This should have your personal details, tax file number, income streams, tax offsets, deductions, and other relevant information previously claimed. Also have your bank account details in the event that you’re entitled to a refund.
If you use an online accounting solution, all or most your data should be available online for us to access. Most packages capture business transactions, and allow you to record data in real-time and in a format that we understand (as well as giving us access to it 24/7 so we can keep working on your return if we need to after the appointment is over).
What to bring?
Here is a brief general checklist of things to prepare for your tax return appointment. Not all of the following will be relevant for everyone, but will depend on your own circumstances. But as a checklist it should help you tick off what you do or don’t have in preparation for your next visit.
- PAYG summaries from employers
- Bank statements for any interest received during the financial year
- Distributions from trusts, partnerships, managed super funds
- Allowances (car, travel, entertainment, meals etc)
- Government pensions and allowances
- Foreign income
- Capital gains – for example, sale of shares or property
- Personal services income
- Net income/loss from business
- Rental income – for example, from an investment property
- Lump sum termination payments
- Superannuation lump sum payments
Expenses for tax deductions
- Motor vehicle expenses based on business use percentage and kilometres travelled (include your log book if applicable)
- Travel and accommodation information – domestic and overseas
- Work uniforms and other clothing expenses
- Courses, education and seminars
- Home office expenses
- Computer, software and repairs
- Tools and equipment
- Employee costs
- Superannuation contributions
- Rent/lease payments
- Interest paid – say on an investment property loan
- Dividend deductions
- Bank fees
- Low value pool deductions/depreciation
- Telephone and internet costs
- Freight and transport costs
- Utilities – electricity, gas, water
- Legal and accounting fees
- Income protection insurance
- Details of any asset purchases
It is highly recommended that you keep receipts for all expenses and possible tax deductions you are considering claiming for you or your business. It is also a good idea to scan and file them electronically so that they are accessible should you need them for audit purposes.
If you’re in business
Further to the above information, we may also require the following information for review, so it is recommended you scan or photocopy these:
- Bank and credit card statements
- Lease, hire purchase, chattel mortgage or other loan agreements to your business
- Business Activity Statements and Instalment Activity Statements and working papers
- Stock valuation figure after performing your June 30 stock take.
We will work through every allowable tax deduction available for you and/or your business. Don’t forget to ask us what tax incentives are available to you which may work to increase your tax deductions.
Tip! If you have sold the family home over the last income year, although it is CGT-free we will still need to note in your individual tax return that this property has been sold. Rest assured that capital gains will not be calculated for this asset sale, although we will of course explain this to you before lodging on your behalf.