Ways To Help Boost Your Tax Refunds

Medical Expenses
From 1 July 2019, taxpayers will no longer be able to claim a tax offset for out-of-pocket medical expenses.  All claims from 1 July 2013 will be restricted to eligible taxpayers who incur out-of-pocket medical expenses relating only to disability aids, attendant care, or aged care expenses.
Super Contribution
Why not consider maximising your concessional contributions. This is primarily for the self-employed because to get a tax deduction on the concessional contribution, less than 10% of your income can come from working as an employee. Just make sure you satisfy the 10% rule before claiming a deduction in your tax return.

If you are employed, you can still make concessional contributions via salary sacrifice.

If you are a low-income earner, why not consider making a contribution to your superannuation to get the government co-contribution of up to $500 or at the reduced rate depending on your income level.

The only thing you need to make sure is that the money is physically in your superannuation fund by June 30, so it is important to give yourself a sufficient amount of days to make the transfer.

If your spouse is a low-income earner, consider making an after-tax contribution to your spouse’s super before June 30 to get a tax rebate. For you to get the maximum rebate of $540, your spouse needs to earn less than $10,800 a year by contributing $3,000. You may still get an offset if your spouse earns up to $13,800, but the amount is reduced.

Property Investments
If you are a property investor, you can boost your refund by pre-paying your property expenses before June 30 – that way they can claim these expenses as a deduction in the 2014 financial year.

You may wish to prepay next year’s interest on your investment loan so you can claim the tax deduction this year. Seek advice or check your interest rates before making a decision – especially in a falling interest rate environment.

Other expenses include body corporate fees, borrowing costs, property management costs, pest control and insurance. Also, if your investment property is in need of repairs and maintenance, now may be the time to get these done. Check with your tradespeople that they can get the work done and invoiced before June 30.

We recommend that you obtain quantity surveyor to help you claim maximum depreciation deductions on depreciable items. Not only will the fee you pay be tax-deductible, you’ll also get a depreciation schedule that will help you minimise tax on your investment property in the future.

If you have made a capital gain this financial year and you’re sitting on an unrealised capital loss, you need to consider whether to crystallise that loss to offset the gain.

Charity Donations
Are you thinking of supporting your favourite cause? Why not consider doing it in the lead-up to June 30 to get the tax deduction.
Deferring Income
Deferring income is another popular year end strategy.

If you have the luxury of timing your income – for example, you have a private company or family trust – you might benefit from pushing it back to the next tax year.

Other examples include arranging for fixed interest payments to mature after June 30, or delaying any bonuses paid to you.

Income Protection
For all working people, you can consider income protection insurance. It means you will be paid a proportion of your salary if you’re temporarily unable to work because of sickness or injury.

Having this safeguard not only gives you comfort and mind at ease but also the cost of the insurance is tax deductible to you.

Home Office Claims
If part of your work is done from home (in particularly for teachers), certain running costs may be claimed such as:

  • depreciation on home office equipment such as computers and telecommunications equipment – if your equipment costs less than $300, you can claim a full deduction for the work-related portion
  • work-related phone calls, including from mobiles
  • work-related internet access charges
  • the cost of heating, cooling and lighting your home office that is over the amount you would ordinarily have to pay if you did not work from home
  • the costs of repairs to your home office furniture and fittings.

However, you will need to have a separate room, like a study, set aside for work purposes.

Reasonable Allowances
If you travelled for work domestically or internationally, you may be eligible to claim a reasonable allowance for travel, accommodation and/or meals rate issued by the Tax Office. This also includes overtime meals.

Tips Before Year End

The financial year’s end is approaching. Sure, you might not have a lot of time but there are a number of things you can do before June 30 that may put dollars back in your pocket.

A few considerations are available on this website for your reading. In the mean time, now is also a good time to start organising paperwork to prepare your tax return. You will need bank statements, statements relating to shares or funds to work out dividends or distributions, records from your investment property, and receipts for donations, medical expenses and work-related expenses.


Helpful Website Links

Australian Taxation Office – www.ato.gov.au

Australian Business Register – www.abr.gov.au

NSW Office of State Revenue – www.osr.nsw.gov.au

Australian Securities Exchange – www.asx.com.au

Australian Securities & Investments Commission – www.asic.gov.au

NSW Department of Fair Trading – www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au