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Essential Tax Time Tips: The Dos and Don’ts You Should Know Before Filing Your Return

CPA Australia is advising Australians to approach tax season with caution, avoiding common pitfalls and maximizing their returns.

Gavan Ord from CPA Australia shares essential advice for preparing tax returns effectively, ensuring compliance and minimizing risks:

Do’s:

  1. Thoroughness is Key: Accurately declare all income and claim eligible expenses to avoid audits and maximize refunds. Keep detailed records and receipts, including work-related activities.
  2. Claim Work-Related Expenses: Claim legitimate work-related expenses like uniforms, subscriptions, and travel between work locations, but not home commutes.
  3. Accurate Motor Vehicle Claims: Whether for fuel, servicing, or lease payments, maintain detailed records to substantiate business use claims. Differentiate clearly between business and private use.
  4. Pre-June 30 Purchases: Deduct work-related purchases made before June 30, such as office equipment under $300, ensuring items are necessary for work.
  5. Seek Professional Help: For complex tax situations, consider professional tax advice to navigate deductions and compliance efficiently.

Don’ts:

  1. Avoid Rushing: Resist the urge to lodge early; wait for ATO pre-filled data to ensure accuracy and prevent the need for amendments later.
  2. Avoid Exaggerated Claims: Be cautious of overstating deductions, as disproportionate claims may trigger ATO scrutiny and require additional evidence.
  3. Correct Rental Property Claims: Ensure claims related to rental properties accurately distinguish between repairs and improvements to avoid ATO scrutiny.
  4. Beware of Bad Advice: Disregard dubious tax advice from unreliable sources on social media or unverified platforms.
  5. Guard Against Scams: Remain vigilant against phishing scams impersonating the ATO, especially during tax season.

By following these guidelines, taxpayers can optimize their returns while safeguarding themselves against potential pitfalls and scams.

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