Get the Most out of Your Tax Refunds!

Receiving a tax refund is exciting – finally some well-deserved extra cash in your back pocket! Many of us don’t have plans for how we are going to spend our tax refunds, especially if we didn’t expect to receive any through our tax returns.

Some people choose to head straight down to the shops with their refund in hand, willing to splurge on things they desire.

Meanwhile, the more financially-savvy think about stowing it away for a rainy day.

But have you thought about putting your refund to work?

Invest it

It’s never too early to begin planning for your future. Consider placing your tax refund – even if it’s only a hundred dollars or two – into an investment.

Then you can simply add each year’s tax refund into your investment to keep topping it up. Soon you’ll have a nice sum of money working hard to provide for your future!

Save it

Another great way to get the most out of your refund is to place it in a high-interest bank account. Make sure that it’s virtually untouchable so that you won’t be tempted to spend any of it.

You can even have your refunds deposited straight into this account, removing the need for you to transfer it from your regular everyday account. This will help to reduce the chance of you spending it before you get a chance to save it.

Tips for Backpackers Working in Australia

Australia is host to a wide variety of seasonal jobs, which is one of the reasons why many backpackers love coming here.

This ranges from vineyard work, fruit picking to even working the odd shift in a restaurant kitchen during the busy period.

While it’s great to earn a few dollars while you’re backpacking your way through the country, there are a few things that you need to be aware of when it comes to lodging a tax return in Australia.

Keep track of your pay

You may find yourself changing jobs quite often due to weather or demand. It’s important that you make sure you are receiving printed or electronic payslips and payment summaries from each employer.

This will help speed up tax returns as you won’t need to chase up your old employer.

Obtain your Tax File Number (TFN)

You will need your tax file number in order to lodge your return. This is usually printed on your payment summaries from your employer. If you don’t have one, then you will need to obtain it from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Alternatively, if you can’t find any documents with your TFN on it then you can simply contact the ATO and they’ll inform you of what it is.

Over 4 million Aussies Received Tax Refunds – Will You Join Them?

Tax season is well and truly here, with millions of taxpayers around the country getting their tax returns in on time.

New statistics from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have shown a total of 5.72 million people have lodged their returns since the beginning of the new financial year (July 1) to September 10.

This translates into 4.52 million people receiving tax refunds from their returns for this period, totalling a whopping $11.69 billion in value.

There were also over 500,000 previous and future applications filed during the same period, adding up to $1.34 billion in refunds.

If you’ve been putting off lodging your online tax return for quite some time, then you better have a good reason for it!

The process is quite simple – all you need to do is register online and speak to a tax accountant on the phone to finalise a few details. After that, you simply wait for your refund to be deposited into your bank account.

You can do this anytime and anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection and phone reception.

Who knows, maybe you’ll be one of the 4 million taxpayers to receive a refund this year!

Tips for Maximising Your Tax Refunds

We all love to receive a boost in our bank accounts through tax refunds, but the trick is knowing how to maximise this so we can receive the biggest refund possible.

If you are looking to get the most out of your refund this financial year, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Claim for more than one year

If you’re not required by the Australian Taxation Office to lodge a tax return each financial year, then it can become quite easy to forget to file your application.

Many people can leave their tax refunds piling up year after year, sometimes without even knowing it! So to get the most out of your refund, apply for more than one year at a time.

Don’t forget minor purchases 

You may think that a small $5 or $10 spend may not be very much, but throughout the financial year these can all add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Don’t forget to include all the eligible expenses that you can, even the small ones!

Get help from a tax agent franchise

At Mr Tax Refund, we guarantee you the biggest refund possible. If we fail at providing you this, then we will give you double your fees back, so you can ensure that we’ll do our best!

Expenses You Can Claim for Your Children

When you have kids, your household expenses can increase dramatically. Some of these expenses may arise from paying for food to feed those extra mouths, school uniforms, doctors’ visits and education.

Luckily, the Australian government has a few initiatives in place to help families cover these costs.

Schoolkids Bonus

Education Tax Refunds have now been replaced by the Schoolkids Bonus. This is available for those families who have a child aged under 19 still at school. This includes both primary and secondary education.

Each child can receive two instalments of up to $205 for primary school, or $410 for secondary.
To be eligible to receive this, you must be receiving the Family Tax Benefit Part A.

Medical Expenses

You may be able to claim some of your child’s medical expenses as a tax offset through the Net Medical Expenses Tax Offset.

This offset is subject to a few conditions and thresholds; however the threshold increases for each dependent child after the first.

Currently, the adjusted taxable income amount for 2013 is up to $168,000 for a family. This means that 20 per cent of net medical expenses over $2,120 can be claimed as an offset.

To get a better understanding for which expenses you can claim in your tax returns, get help from a registered tax agent.

Tax Returns for People in Relationships

When filing an individual tax return in Australia, many people can often make the simple mistake of not including their partner or spouse’s details.

According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), a spouse is someone who you are in a relationship with – legally married to you or not – and lives with you on a genuine domestic basis.

If you have had a spouse or partner during the 2012-13 financial year then you must include their details as well as taxable income in your individual tax returns.

This is done so that the ATO can correctly identify obligations and allocate any benefits that you may be entitled for.

The income that your partner receives that you must declare includes their payment summary, child support obligations, financial investment or rental property losses and deductions for superannuation contributions.

Sometimes it can be hard to determine the amount of taxable income that your partner or spouse earns. However, the ATO allows you to provide an estimate if this is the case.

The estimate must be reasonable, or else there can be penalties or interest charges if a tax shortfall occurs.

Catching Up on Your Past Tax Returns

Having more than one year of tax refunds owed to you by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is a great feeling.

And it gets even better once those funds hit your bank account!

Many people can often forget to lodge a tax return to see if they are owed any money, especially if they are not required to do so by the ATO.

But how do you catch up on your previous tax refunds?

It’s simple! Just get in contact with a tax agent and they’ll help you to get the ball rolling.

A tax accountant can find out just how much you are owed from previous years and help you get your tax back.

Getting all of your previous tax returns out of the way means that you won’t be backlogged for the next financial year, leaving you to sleep easier knowing that you’re up to date.

Should you owe any money from your tax returns then it’s best to get it out of the way as early as possible, instead of leaving it to accumulate over time.

Just don’t forget to include all of the most recent and relevant information on your returns when you lodge your return, otherwise there might be delays.

Two Deductions You May Be Missing Out On

While many people think they have a good understanding of the tax deductions we can claim, a number of us may in fact be missing out on a few expenses.

This can all accumulate and impact how much you receive in your tax refunds – so it’s worth getting a helping hand from a tax agent to maximise your refund this year.

Here are two expenses that are often overlooked.

Gifts and donations

Are you the giving type? If so, then you may have made a few donations during the last financial year. But did you know that some of these donations can be claimed as a tax deduction in your tax return?

The gift or donation must have been made to an organisation with the status of being a deductible gift recipient (DGR).  It must truly be a gift – not a sale or transfer of anything – and must comply with any relevant gift conditions.

Home office

Some of the running costs that you incur in your home office can be claimed in your tax returns.

This could include the expenses from getting your home office cleaned, repair to office furniture and equipment, and some utilities. Make sure you keep adequate records of these should you wish to claim them.

*Articles appearing in Mr Tax Refund Tax Tips has been provided for your general information only and are sourced from Castleford. It’s strongly recommended you talk with your Mr Tax Refund tax consultant or business advisor prior to any course of action in relation to the content of these articles.

Tax Deductions – Are You Missing Out?

There may be thousands of people around the country missing out on claiming deductions in their tax returns.

According to a News Limited analysis of data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in a July 15 News.com.au article, workers in Australia offset 4.76 per cent of their income during the 2010-2011 financial year.

This is a slight decrease from what was seen during 2005-2006, where the figure was 5.59 per cent.

During the time between these two financial periods, there has been $31.5 billion of tax deductions.

However, News.com.au suggests that this could have been higher at $37 billion if Australians were to have kept up at the 2005-2006 level.

This information highlights the importance of speaking to a tax accountant when lodging a return. This way, workers can find out what expenses they might be missing out on claiming.

During the 2010-2011 financial year, ATO data found that uniform and vehicle expenses were the most claimed categories.

The ATO data showed that Australians claimed over $5.9 million in expenses for work-related clothing and uniforms. A further $2.9 million was claimed for vehicle expenses.

This poses the question as to whether all Australians are making the correct deductions, as they are such common expenses.

Four Types of Investment Income You Need to Declare

Many financially-savvy Aussies place their precious funds into investments to get their money working hard for them.

It’s important to note that when you file your income tax returns in Australia, you’ll need to correctly list the types of investment income that you receive during the financial year.

Interest

This refers to any interest that you may have gained from term deposits, life insurance bonuses, or interest earned from financial institution accounts.

Rent

Rent paid to you from your tenants through your investment property is included as investment income. This also covers letting fees and bond that you have become entitled to, such as costs of repairs or missed rent payments from a tenant.

Dividends

Any dividends that you earn from owning shares from a limited investment company, corporate unit trust or public trading trust will need to be included in your tax returns.

Trusts

If you have placed your money into a managed fund, property trust or unit trust, then you will need to provide financial information regarding any income that you earned through this.