Maximising your tax return; businesses and individuals

Although there are often many other things you would prefer to be doing than maximising your tax return, your time can literally be money if it’s invested in understanding the extents to which you can claim as an individual or a business. To make it a little easier, we’ve put together three quick tips to maximise your tax return in the lead up to June 30.

1. Take advantage of all deductible items

For individuals:

If you’ve made purchases that are directly related to you earning income, and you have the records to prove it (receipts etc.), you may be able to claim some common work-related expenses in these categories outline on ASIC’s Money Smart:

 

Maximising Your Tax Return

 

For businesses:

Businesses may claim some of the above deductions, as well as:

Keep in mind, both as an individual or a business owner, that you must have sufficient records to back up any of your claims. You can find detailed information about what you can claim on the ATO website.

2. Prepay your expenses for the following year

For individuals:
You can prepay work-related expenses such as subscriptions, membership fees and income protection insurance for the following 12 months and claim it in this year’s return. If you own an investment property, you can also prepay expenses on the property such as maintenance, strata fees and council rates.

For Businesses:
Businesses can prepay up to 12 months of expenses for the following financial year such as; insurances, interest payments on loans, lease payments, rent payments, subscriptions, phone and internet, business travel expenses, training events and conferences and business asset repairs.

3. Upgrade your work equipment

For individuals:
You are able to claim purchases you have made for income-producing purposes instantly if it costs less than $300. If the item costs more than this, it can be depreciated over it’s working life on a pro-rata basis. Deductions could include hard drives, routers and a work bag.

For businesses:
Businesses, in whatever size or stage, are able to take advantage of the Instant Asset Write-Off Scheme. As a result, any business-related equipment under $20,000 are able to be instantly tax deductible rather than having to claim continual depreciation. You can take advantage of equipment and vehicle finance to purchase before EOFY. Not only can you instantly deduct the equipment (under $20k) or claim depreciation (over $20k), you can also claim the interest payments and insurances on the equipment for the life of the loan.

It’s easy to fall into the same routine tax claim each year. However, by investing some time into understanding what you can claim or prepay on a year-to-year basis, you have the potential to make tax-time not only more interesting, but more fruitful.

The information in this article is of a generalised nature, it is important that you obtain individual financial and tax advice for your own small business.