Top tax tips

Tackling your tax in 2015

It's tax time again. Follow our top tax tips to make tax time a breeze.

1. Pull together your paperwork

2. Claim your deductions

3. Lodge your tax online

4. Lodge your return before the deadline

Pull together your paperwork

Before you lodge your tax, you will need to make sure you have all the paperwork and information you need to make sure what you lodge is accurate. Here are some of the documents you will need for the 2014/15 tax period.

Your income

1. Payment summaries - These outline the income you have received from your employer, super funds or government payments like Centrelink or Department of Veterans Affairs.

2. Bank statements - Will show any interest you have earned during the period.

3. Shares, unit trusts or managed funds statements - To work out and dividends or distributions made to you.

4. Buy and sell investment statements - These may be from your investment adviser or stockbroker if you bought or sold any shares.

5 Records from your rental property - Includes information relating to a capital gain or capital loss from the sale of a property.

6. Foreign income details - Details of foreign pensions or other foreign income.

Your expenses

1. Private health insurance policy statement - The information needed to complete the private health insurance section of your tax return.

2. Donation receipts - From any approved charities you contribute to.

3. Educational records and receipts - If you can claim education expenses.

4. Investment property receipts - These will help you claim the costs of repairs and maintenance to your investment property.

5. Your spouse's income and expenses - If you have a spouse, you will also need details of their income and expenses to make sure your entitlements are correctly calculated.

Claim your deductions

You may be able to claim a deduction for some costs related to your job. The basic rules for claiming work-related expenses are:

1. You must have spent the money.

2. Expenses must be related to your job.

3. You must have a record to prove you paid for it.

You can find out more about claiming work-related expenses on the ATO's website.

Lodge your tax online

To lodge online with the ATO simply answer a short series of questions that will take you to the right lodgement option based on your individual tax circumstance - myTax or e-tax.

MyTax - Is the free online tax return for individuals. It has fewer questions making it shorter and easier to complete. It is available for tablet devices, smart phones and desktop computers.

E-tax - Is for people whose tax situation is more complex (for example if you had income or losses from a business or rental property, or capital gains or losses).

Follow the link to lodge online now.

Need help from a registered tax agent?

If you want to use a professional to do your tax return, make sure you use a registered tax agent. You can check if the agent is registered on the online tax and BAS agent register.

Lodge your return before the deadline

If you are lodging your own return online or by paper, you have until 31 October 2015 to lodge it. If you decide to use a registered tax agent, you can lodge later but you will need to have contacted the tax agent before 31 October to qualify.

Make tax this year as easy as possible by getting organised and knowing what information you will need to lodge, before you lodge.

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