5 Tips to Help You Get Extra Money Out of Your Tax Return

5 Tips to Help You Get Extra Money Out of Your Tax Return

The end of the financial year is approaching, which also means tax time is rolling around, yet again. While there’s no need to panic just yet there are a few things worth thinking about that can help you to maximise your tax refund later.

To figure out the best ways you can squeeze some extra dollars out of your tax return, Lifehacker Australia sought the help of an expert, that being H&R Block’s Director of Tax Communications, Mark Chapman. Here’s what he recommended.

Tax tricks to help you get extra money in your refund

Always keep copies of your receipts

It may seem like obvious advice but the most hassling chore when it comes to time to do your tax is often sifting through those receipts for potential work-related expenses.

Chapman reminds us that “the golden rule is that you can’t make a claim unless you can prove you spent the money (and also that you weren’t reimbursed by your employer)… If you’re not sure if you can make a claim, keep the receipt anyway and discuss it with your tax agent.”

This involves keeping track of any receipts, invoices, bank or credit card statements. Get a system in order now and it will save heaps of time in the long run.

Keep a vehicle logbook

If you use your vehicle for work purposes you can claim a portion of the mileage back on tax. Typically you can use the cents per kilometre method, which is claiming 78 cents for every kilometre you used the vehicle for work. But Chapman has a better way:

“You’ll probably get a better deduction if you instead use the logbook method. This requires you to complete a logbook of all journeys (work and private) for a full 12 week period (but it only needs to be done once and then the logbook is good for five years). Therefore, if you start now, you can complete the logbook before the end of the financial year.”

You can pick up a logbook like this from office suppliers, or H&R Block actually offers them for free.


A reminder that most charitable donations are tax deductible. As long as they are more than $2 and are linked to a registered charity you can include it in your tax.

If you’re unsure Chapman says you can check the Deductible Gift Recipient list at the ABR website. Just remember you’ll need a receipt for donations as well.

Study Fees

If you’ve picked up a university or TAFE course in addition to your work and it relates to your current employment, you can claim it in your tax refund – as long as your employer isn’t reimbursing you. You can even claim costs like textbooks, stationery and any travel costs to attend classes.

“If you need to undertake ongoing professional development to keep up to date with the latest practices in your trade or profession, these costs will also be deductible to the extent they are linked to your current job. You cannot, however, claim for a pre-vocational course,” Chapman explained.

Contribute to your Super

For the younger generations, contributing to your Superannuation fund might seem like a problem to worry about years down the track. However, if you have the money and means to voluntarily contribute to it now, you can claim some of it back on tax.

“Provided the total amount of your contributions (including the contributions made on your behalf by your employer) does not exceed $27,500, this can be a great way to boost your retirement savings and claim a tax deduction for the personal contribution,” Chapman advised.

“The payment must be made by June 30th and you need to advise your super fund that you’ve made the payment by the time you lodge your return.”

To do that you can find a standardized form on the ATO website.

For more guides to all things tax stay tuned to Lifehacker Australia.

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