You might approach doing your tax return like ripping off a Band-Aid – the faster, the less painful – however sometimes it can pay to hold off lodging your tax return straight away. Here’s why:
- Key timeframes for lodging your tax return You can generally start working on your tax return as soon as June 30 rolls over, but you actually have until 31 October to lodge it if you're submitting your own tax return. If you have a registered tax agent or accountant preparing your return, they generally have until May to complete it. Check out the ATO site for more information.
- Gives you more time to get all the information , Getting your tax return lodged early may mean that you’ll get your refund sooner. However, it gives you less time to get everything right, meaning you could miss claiming potential deductions.
We all know the saying “the devil is in the detail” and the same goes for preparing your tax return. Make sure you know what you’re entitled to claim and take plenty of time to fill out your return.
Another thing you’ll want to avoid from lodging your return too soon is making mistakes, which could leave to the ATO questioning your return. You’re far better off taking the time to ensure you have submitted the right income details and deductions. Also, make sure you have the evidence to back up any claims you make, such as receipts and invoices.
- Your tax accountant won’t be swamped , The new financial year is known to be the busiest time of year for tax accountants, as they are juggling multiple returns at once. If you give it some time to do your tax return, your tax accountant would appreciate taking some of the pressure off. This could help to build to a good relationship with you accountant and lets them understand your personal finances better.
- August is really the best time So if the first few weeks of July aren’t the best time to lodge your tax return, when is? According to the ATO website , by mid-August they have received most data from your employer and organisations like your bank and insurer. This pre-filled data can help you avoid making mistakes on your tax return.
Tips for submitting your tax return:
- Ensure you have all the information you need e.g. payment summaries, bank statements, private health insurance.
- Declare any additional income from things like rental income, dividends, foreign income etc.
- Only claim deductions on expenses that directly relate to the earning of your income (and make sure you have evidence to back it up).
All the best in submitting your tax return for the 2017-2018 financial year! If you’re unsure of the deductions you might be entitled to claim, want to have a chat with a qualified tax accountant, or want more tips on submitting your return, visit Moneysmart.
TAL Direct is not authorised to provide tax advice, it is important to obtain advice from a qualified tax professional.