5 Things You Should Do Ahead of the 2024 Tax Deadline

5 Things You Should Do Ahead of the 2024 Tax Deadline

We’re fast approaching the end of the financial year (scary, right?), and that means it’s once again time to start thinking about your tax. In fact, starting your taxes early, even if it’s just forward-thinking, has a lot of added benefits that can reap big rewards further down the line.

So what should you be thinking about before June 30? Let’s revisit some tips from Mark Chapman, H&R Block’s Director of Tax Communications.

Things you should do before the tax deadline

Gather your records

It’s the same story every year, but often the thing that makes doing your tax most painful is tracking down all your different receipts and invoices.

Chapman says you should take time to gather your records now to save time later, which includes things like invoices and receipts or bank/credit card statements for work expenses.

“If you’re not sure if it’s claimable, collect together the receipt or invoice anyway and discuss it with your tax agent,” Chapman said.

“In addition, if you’re claiming any expenses that have a work-related element and a private element (such as for the use of a personal mobile phone) set some time aside to work out what a reasonable apportionment is for the work-related bit.”

If you need a good record-keeping system for your receipts, there are a number of great tax apps out there that can help.

Prepay expenses where you can

If you have some annual expenses you can pay before the EOFY, it could be worth paying them now. According to Chapman:

“You can claim a tax deduction this year for expenses which wholly or partly relate to next year. So, if you have some spare cash, consider paying things like union fees, professional subscriptions and annual insurance premiums in advance in order to accelerate the deduction.”

Buy a new handbag

Okay, that might seem like strange advice but bear with us here. Chapman advises that if you use a bag for work, like to carry papers or a laptop, you can claim a tax deduction for that cost. That covers any briefcases, backpacks and handbags that you use for work.

Offset capital gains against capital losses

The whole idea of capital gains and capital losses can be a confusing area, but it’s an important one, as Mark explains:

“If you’ve disposed of shares or any other form of investment and you know you’ve made a capital gain, take a look at your investment portfolio and consider disposing of any assets which you own which you know are sitting at a loss. The resulting capital losses can be offset against the capital gain.”

“Be careful though if you sell shares sitting at a loss and then buy them back in the new tax year. The ATO takes a hard line against so-called ‘wash sales’. This refers to the sale of an asset before the year end and the purchase of a substantially identical asset immediately after the year end. The ATO regard the purchase and the sale as effectively the same asset and have issued a Tax Ruling which states that they can apply the anti-avoidance provisions to cancel any tax benefits and apply penalties.”

Seek expert help

If any of the above points left you perplexed, it’s probably a good idea to seek out the help of an expert. A good tax accountant will be able to help you identify all the things you need to do to prepare for the incoming tax season, so do your research now and book in before it gets too late.

You can also check out our other tax articles which should help answer your burning questions ahead of EOFY.

Lead Image Credit: ATO/NBC

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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