It’s all fair for Tax agents to expect that all clients have everything at their fingertips ready to give to them. For whatever reason however, this is not always the case. Below are some tips for making sure you’ve got all information ready so that there’s as little (or in most cases no) questions needed to be asked as possible.
- Identification: As registered tax agents, it’s up to us to verify that the person submitting their tax return is exactly who they say they are. While the extreme majority of people are honest, there is a small minority that try to unlawfully claim refund money from unsuspecting people. So in order to make sure we can confirm you’re identity, the following is required:
- If you are a previous client of Refund Express, and we’ve already confirmed your identity in a past year return cycle, then you’re automatically confirmed for any subsequent years after this. So you do not need to provide any more identification documents.
- If you are a new client, you need to provide a scan/photo of at least one of the following identification documents:
- Drivers License.
- Previous Years Notice Of Assessment from the ATO.
- Some sort of officially state/government based photo identification if none of the above can be obtained.
- Lack of identification documents may slow down your return process, as we will contact you to provide these documents, and will not finalise your return until they are submitted.
- If you cannot provide any of the identification documents, then we may not be able to provide our services to you. All identification documents are uploaded during the return process.
- Correct Personal Information: Sometimes, especially when people change names, the information they provide may not necessarily match with what the ATO has on file. Ideally, it’s best to update your details with the ATO before you lodge your return. If for whatever reason this cannot be done, it’s best to add in the notes section any changes in personal information that may help us match your ATO information with what you provide (eg: previous last name, correct date of birth etc).
- Payment Summaries: All payment summaries entered during the return process should be accompanied with a photo/scan of the payment summary for confirmation purposes (which can be uploaded during the return process). While we can confirm this information with the ATO in many cases, sometimes either employers have not yet submitted their payment summaries to the ATO, and supplying a copy of the payment summary will help quicken up the process of lodging your return. Do not guess your yearly amounts, or base your yearly amounts off your last payslip. Any amounts, or scans of payslips will not be accepted. Only employer supplied payment summaries will be accepted.
- Goverment Payments: Receive Newstart, Age Pension or some other government payment the past year? The same applies to these payments as with payment summaries. A copy of your payment assessment must be provided to make sure all information is correct.
- HELP Debt: If you have a HELP debt, you need to enter this in your return process. Depending on your income, and how much debt you have, this may have a big outcome on your return amount. So don’t forget this, and please don’t guess the amount. Verify the amount before you enter it.
- Deductions: We could talk about deductions until the cows come home, but here are some general tips for submitting correct deductions.
- Car Deductions: You can only claim car deductions if you are driving to and from workplace to workplace. You cannot claim driving to and from work from your home. If you carry tools/equipment in your car to use at work when driving from home, you can claim car expenses for the vehicle carrying these tools/equipment. You need to have a log book for over 5000 km’s, and in all cases for expenses, be able to provide receipts for any claims.
- Work Related Expenses: Up to $300, you can claim work related deductions without providing receipts (eg: Uniform, Protective Clothing, Tools [tools to be entered in the other work deductions area]). This does not mean you do not have to provide proof or legitimate work use or proof of purchase to the ATO if audited, however for lodgement purposes, you do not need to provide this documentation up to $300. If over $300, all documentation needs to be provided.
- Work related Education: You can claim self funded work related education expenses, as long as the education relates to your current job role (or progression of). You cannot claim education expenses if the study is done to further your career in a position outside of your current job role (eg: To gain knowledge to get a new/better paying job elsewhere). Documentation of these expenses must be provided.
- Other Work Related Deductions: There are many deductions people can claim for which get missed. Commonly, below are the ones which get missed often by clients:
- Mobile Phone Usage: You can claim a percentage of your mobile phone monthly billable amount, as long as you use your personal mobile for work usage. All you need to do is provide your monthly bill amount, and the percentage of work use (eg: 40% work use), and we’ll do the rest. You can claim the purchase of a mobile phone using the date of purchase, cost of device, and again, the percentage of work use (eg: 40% work use).
- Internet Usage: Do you use your home internet for work purposes? If so, you can provide your monthly bill amount, and the percentage of work use (eg: 40% work use), then you can get a deduction on this usage.
- Tools/Equipment: Any tool purchases can be claimed for work use. Any cost under $300 can be claimed as normal. If the cost of the tool is over $300, you need to provide using the date of purchase, and cost of the tool, along with a copy of the purchase documentation (receipt, bank statement, etc).
- Home Computer: Similar to the above, if you’ve purchased a computer in the past couple of years, you can get depreciation costs on the use of the computer for work purposes. Just provide the date of purchase, cost of device, and the percentage of work use (eg: 40% work use).
There are many other things you can claim, but the above are common to majority of people. The below video from the ATO shows more things you can claim. Take a look and see if any scenarios fit your situation.
The ATO deductions webpage may help you if you have further questions regarding deductions, which can be found by clicking below:
- Previous Years Tax Costs: Did you use an accountant or similar service last year to submit your tax return? If so, you can claim this amount on this years return. Just provide the name of the service, cost, and copy of receipt from said service.
- Donations: All donations need documentation to show their legitimacy. Please provide supporting documents, otherwise this may slow down your return. This includes donations such as religious organisations (eg: Churches)
- Medicare Levy Exemption: If you are for whatever reason, exempt from the Medicare Levy, you need to provide a certificate to show your exemption. Please upload this as necessary.
- Health Insurance Information: If you have health insurance information, please enter this as accurately as possible. If it appears on your ATO report we retrieve, we will query this with you to make sure the information is correct, so having this information correct will save time on your return processing.
- If you have any other information that does not seem like it can be entered anywhere else into the return process, add this into the notes area before submission. If needed to be sent after submission of return, please use your accounts message system.
Hopefully this information helps you submit your return with more confidence. If you have any questions, you can use the contact form from our menu at the top of the page, or if you already have an account, you can use the message system attached to your account information page.