Tips on Boosting Your Tax Returns Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

tax return

As the end of the financial year approaches, millions of Australians are set to lodge taxes under a different financial circumstance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While COVID-19 crisis has significantly caused disruption and problems in the country and across the globe, tax time is an opportunity to take advantage of the government measures and regulations aimed to help every taxpayer during the pandemic.

If you’re curious about how to make the most of tax returns, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when completing your tax return.  

State All Your Income. 

The details and information regarding your income are usually the pre-filled documents ATO received from your employers. So, if you have different income streams, you need to add them yourself. 

You can check on ATO’s website with regards to the full information on the income you must declare. This usually includes:  

  • employment income
  • government payments 
  • super pensions and annuities 
  • investment income (including interest, dividends, rent and capital gains) 
  • profits from the sharing economy (for example Uber or Airbnb)
  • compensation and insurance payments 

Identify All Your Work-From-Home Expenses

Remember the pre-COVID-19 time where you get to spend your workdays in the office? For some professionals nowadays, their home is their current office space. Over thousands of Australian employees have been working from home during the crisis. As a result, the government expects a surge in the number of taxpayers claiming for work-from-home deductions. 

You can declare the costs for your computer, workstation, phones, other electronic devices and internet service. By doing so, you can claim a percentage of the expenses that relate to work, not private use. 

The good thing about the claim is that you don’t have to calculate the costs per running expense. ATO has set a fixed rate of 80 cents per hour for all your running expenses. The coverage for this claim is from 1 March to 30 June 2020. If you have other family members working in the same house as you, they can also claim this new rate individually.  

Know the Automatic Offset Deductions

If you are earning below $37,000 to $126,000, you can benefit from the tax cuts for this financial year. However, taxpayers earning over $126,000 are not eligible. For those earning under $37,000 will receive up to $225, while those earning in between $37,000 and $126,000 can get up to the full $1,080 in tax relief. 

You don’t have to file for the tax cut since the amount will be automatically applied when you lodge your tax return.  

Deductions for Protective Clothing 

More than the work-from-home setup expenses and running costs, you can also claim deductions for protective gear like face masks, gloves, gowns or sanitizer. This is only applicable to professionals who face clients and customers during the crisis. 

It is also good to note that the taxpayers who qualify to this claim are professionals in the healthcare, retail, and hospitality industries. They can only file this claim if they paid for the items personally and were not reimbursed by the company. You can consult a tax agent in Sydney to know more about the claims applicable to you.  

More Things to Keep in Mind 

Whether there’s a global crisis or not, there are a lot of tax claims and deductions that can easily be overlooked when lodging your taxes. Minor expenses like your mobile phone to make work calls, text messages or use the data for work purposes can be claimed as a deduction, yet not everyone knows this.

Similarly, you can claim work-related travel and vehicle expenses if it meets the eligibility criteria set out by the ATO. However, whatever deduction you’re seeking to claim, you will need to have complete documents and record to support it.

Once you lodge your tax returns, you should keep the records and receipts for five years in the event that the ATO asks you to support your tax claims. Be it for your personal tax claims or other financial decisions; you should take every advice with a grain of salt since everyone’s tax situation is different. Always discuss your concerns with a tax agent in Sydney to see the relevant solutions for you.  

For Practical and Efficient Financial Solutions, Talk to The Professionals 

COVID-19 aside, there are many ways to boost your tax returns and having a professional tax agent by your side is the best way to know what these are. So, if you’re searching for ‘tax agent near me’ or ‘accounting taxation services in Alexandria, Botany’, you have come to the right place! Trust Practical Accountants today!

We can free up your valuable time so that you can focus on doing the things that matter for you and your loved ones. Are you interested to know more about our service? Talk to our expert team of professionals today! You can call us at 02 9517 4726 or send us an email at info@practicalaccountants.com.au.