Hi, my name is Adam Stewart, Debt Collection Expert and owner of ADC Legal Litigation Lawyers.
We know how hard it is to come up with extra cash to pay for an outstanding debt. For those who are employed, your tax return is your guaranteed lump sum payment each year to pay off debts.
Here are 10 tips to help you get a better tax return:
1. ATO App
This is a pretty awesome app from the ATO and this is a good place to start with.
It will save you heaps on a tax agent. You can download it here.
2. Get a Receipt for Cash Donations
Any donation above $2 can be claimed, and to provide scope for supporting a disaster appeal and throwing money into a bucket can claim up to $10 per donation without a receipt.
If you’re studying subjects related to your current paid employment, it’s tax-deductible after the first $250. You also can claim travel expenses for getting to and from your place of education.
Did you know you can claim subscriptions to work-related magazines and journals? For occupations such as media can claim paid TV subscriptions that help them updated with the current events.
5. Cars and Caravans
You can claim vehicle and other travel expenses directly connected with your work. For normal trips going to work and home is considered private travel. One suggestion you can do is to consider a caravan instead of expensive motel rooms. You just have to properly allocate the expenses between work and personal use. See the Australian Taxation Office for more information.
6. Car Maintenance
If you use your car for work, you can claim about 66c per km up to 5,000km in one financial year. Make a more detailed logbook method where every expense is recorded and apportioned. You can use GPS to track your work.
7. Investment Unit
The ATO website is pretty good in this regard and it has some valuable information on what you can deduct for your investment unit. Here are some helpful links:
Other Deductions you can claim:
- Advertising for tenants
- Insurance (not just landlord’s insurance but building and public liability as well)
- Repairs and Maintenance
8. Depreciation of Low Cost Assets
New law started back in 2015 that allows businesses to claim an immediate deduction for assets they start to use or have installed ready for use, provided each depreciate asset cost less than $20,000. This temporarily replaced the previous instant asset write-off threshold of $1,000. Under the simplified depreciation rules, you can claim an immediate deduction for more depreciating assets costing:
- $1,000 prior to 7.30pm (AEST) on 12 May 2015
- $20,000 for assets acquired and installed ready for use, after that date and up until the end of 30 June 2017
9. Make-up, Sunscreens and Hats
Claim away if your job requires to work outdoors. The cosmetic has to have sun protection component to it, not just ordinary make-up.
10. Food and Wine
Small business owners can deduct the cost of their meals and alcohol if they are travelling for work. Just make sure to keep all receipts and invoices. Use your ATO app to keep track of your records.
Once you have received your tax returns, settle your outstanding debts first, especially if they are interest bearing, otherwise there is a chance it will incur further fees including legal fees in the future.
Call me if you need further help in this area. If you need help with your finances, contact the Financial Counseling Australia.
ADC Legal Litigation Lawyers is a legal practice specialising in commercial advice and litigation, debt recovery and insurance claims recovery disputes. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 799 820. Talk to us about your litigation or dispute concerns via Skype at adclegal.