Be well prepared for your tax return appointment
Tax is something that we usually prepare for but the question is how well prepared are you? Are your documents ready and do you have easy access to them when needed?
Being well prepared for important meetings is always wise, and your tax meeting is especially important. Good preparation saves a lot of time, effort and money – not only for you but also for the other people involved in the tax return process.
What do you need to be prepared for your tax return appointment?
If you are a new client, it is always smart to arm yourself with last year’s tax return or has 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 case you’re entitled to a refund.
If you use an online accounting system, all or most your data should be available online for easy access. Most packages capture business transactions and allow you to record data in real-time and in a format that tax processors easily understand. These systems also provide 24/7 access so your accountant can keep working on your return if they need to after your appointment.
Checklist of things to prepare for your tax return appointment
Not everything on this list will be relevant for everyone but will depend on your own circumstances. But this checklist 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
We highly recommend that you keep receipts for all expenses and possible tax deductions you are considering claiming for yourself or your business. It is also a good idea to scan and file these records electronically so they are accessible if you need them for audit purposes.
What to bring for your business tax return appointment
For business people, it is recommended that you scan or photocopy the following documents:
- 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 figures after performing your June 30 stock take.