How Not to Mess up Your Tax Return This Year

How Not to Mess up Your Tax Return This Year

We are edging towards the end of the financial year – the biggest event in the tax calendar. Soon enough, payment summaries will be sent, receipts will be gathered, and accountants will be booked out as everyone moves to file their tax returns. If any part of this confuses you, we’ve covered a lot of bases about tax on Lifehacker Australia and have gathered all our best tips for you below.

Everything you need to know about tax time

Image: iStock

What should you start doing now?

The end of the financial year isn’t until June 30, but there are some things you can do ahead of that time to get your taxes in order.

Things like gathering your receipts and prepaying expenses can save you time and money in the long run and help squeeze some extra cents out of that annual return. You can also make use of a number of finance apps that will help.

If you’ve got money to burn, here are some purchases you can make that you may then be able to claim on tax.

Read some of our other early tax tips here.

Tax return tips

When it comes to the things you can actually claim on your tax return, expenses can range from obvious to unexpected. Not to mention, there are some things you can do during the financial year that will add to your tax return later on. Here are some guides to help:

This is also a reminder that the tax return deadline is October 31, so mark your calendars and get all this sorted before then.

Working from home

work from home tax
Image: iStock

Working from home is more prevalent in society than ever before, and the processes around tax claims have changed significantly in recent years.

This year, the process of WFH claims will shift again, with the ATO stressing that it’s focusing on WFH expenses and proof they’re valid. It’s also worth remembering what you definitely can’t claim as a WFH expense.


The Australian Taxation Office is the overlord of all things tax. It is through the ATO that you will file your tax, and in return, it will assess it and provide you with your return money, or they may take it from you if you’re found to be owing.

There are some useful things to know about the ATO heading into tax season, such as the claims it will be cracking down on this year.

You can also find lots of tax info on the ATO’s official website.

Finding a financial adviser

tax agent australia
Getty Images

Sometimes, where applicable or affordable, it’s best to seek out a financial adviser to help with your money and taxes. If that’s you, we’ve got some articles that may help guide you:

How does superannuation factor into all this?

Let’s not forget our retirement funds, aka superannuation, amongst all this talk of finances.

It’s a good idea to consolidate your super if you’ve changed funds between jobs. Here’s how to do that the easy way.

And, if you’re a low-income earner, you might also be able to take advantage of the Super Co-contribution scheme. Just be sure to inform yourself of all the details surrounding contributing to your super account before you commit to it.

For more tax information as we head into the EOFY, stay tuned to Lifehacker Australia.

This article has been updated since its original publish date. 

Lead Image Credit: iStock

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