Be prepared: What you need to bring to your tax return appointment
If you’re coming in soon to discuss your tax return for yourself or your business, try not to turn up completely empty handed, or at least prepared with some records or access to them.
Being prepared is not only wise, but saves a lot of time and effort for both yourself and for us.
If you are a new client, it is always smart to arm yourself with last year’s tax return. This should have your personal details, tax file number, income streams, tax offsets, deductions, and other relevant information previously claimed. Also bring your latest bank account details in the event that you’re entitled to a refund.
If you use an online accounting solution, all or most your data should be available online for us to access. Most packages capture business transactions, and allow you to record data in real-time and in a format that we understand (as well as giving us access to it 24/7 so we can keep working on your return after the appointment is over).
What to bring?
Here is a brief general checklist of things to prepare for your tax return appointment. Not all of the following will be relevant for everyone, but will depend on your own circumstances. But as a checklist it should help you tick off what you do or don’t have in preparation for your next visit.
PAYG summaries from employers
Bank statements for any interest received during the financial year
Distributions from trusts, partnerships, managed super funds
Allowances (car, travel, entertainment, meals etc.)
Government pensions and allowances
Capital gains – for example, sale of shares or property
Personal services income
Net income/loss from business
Rental income – for example, from an investment property
Lump sum termination payments
Superannuation lump sum payments
Expenses for tax deductions
Motor vehicle expenses based on business use percentage and kilometres travelled (include your log book if applicable)
Travel and accommodation information – domestic and overseas
Work uniforms and other clothing expenses
Courses, education and seminars
Home office expenses
Computer, software and repairs
Tools and equipment
Interest paid – say on an investment property
Low value pool deductions/depreciation
Telephone and internet costs
Freight and transport costs
Utilities – electricity, gas, water
Legal and accounting fees
Income protection insurance
Details of any asset purchases
It is highly recommended that you keep receipts for all expenses and tax deductions you are claiming for your business. Scan and file them electronically so that they are accessible should you need them for audit purposes.
If you’re in business
Further to the above information, we may also require the following information for review, so it is recommended you scan or photocopy these:
Bank and credit card statements
Lease, hire purchase, chattel mortgage or other loan agreements to your business
Business Activity Statements and Instalment Activity Statements and working papers
Stock valuation figure after performing your June 30 stock take.
We will work through every allowable tax deduction available for you and/or your business. Don’t forget to ask us what tax incentives are available to you which may work to increase your tax deductions.
BREAKOUT: Tip! If you have sold the family home over the last income year, although it is CGT-free we will still need to note in your tax return that this property has been sold. Rest assured that capital gains will not be calculated for this asset sale, although we will of course explain this to you before lodging on your behalf.