Tips for Tax Time in 2020

It’s that time again! The end of the financial year is here, and that means one thing – your tax return. Officially, you’ve got until 31st October to lodge your return if you do it yourself, but it may make sense to do it sooner rather than later. Not least, because you could be in line for a refund, and that money is better off in your account than the ATO’s. However this year’s return may look a little different to previous years. Here are our top tips for tax time in 2020!

Claim everything you are entitled to.

Due to COVID-19, we expect to see a substantial increase in people claiming deductions for working from home or for protective items required for work. Deductions are a great way to reduce the amount of tax you owe – if you’re smart about it. All claims must be genuine and backed up by evidence, so always keep your receipts and statements. You never know when the ATO will ask to see them!

Here are a few of the most common deductions:

  • Uniforms and protective clothing
  • Professional memberships and union fees
  • Education or training expenses
  • Donations to registered charities

Lodge online with myTax.

The simplest way to file your tax return is online through myTax. It’s a free service that’s open to any individual (or sole trader) who completes their own tax return. You can access myTax through myGov, the online website that hosts a range of government services, like Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support… and the ATO.

The great thing about myTax is that a lot of your details are already filled in for you, saving you time and hassle. Any information from employers, government agencies, banks and private health funds will automatically be added. All you have to do is fill in your other sources of income, and any deductions you want to make. Visit MyTax for more top tips for tax time in 2020.

Include all your income – JobKeeper and JobSeeker

Tax payers receiving JobKeeper don’t need to do anything different to what they have done in previous claims. Income statements can be accessed via MyGov and the necessary information is automatically included into their tax return.

If you have received JobSeeker, the ATO will also load this information into your tax return at the Government Payments and Allowances question once it’s ready. When you’re declaring your household income, don’t forget to include money you earned through other sources – like rental income, share dividends or bank interest.

Leaving out any income can slow down your return or could result in a bill later on!

Early access to superannuation

If you received early access to your super this year under the special arrangements due to COVID-19, any amounts you’ve withdrawn from super under this program are tax-free. You do not need to declare them in your tax return.