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What can I claim differently this time?

If you’ve been working at home, there are several expenses you can include in your tax return. The Australian Tax Office is expecting an increase in deductions related to people working from home – that means things such as electricity, internet, and phone costs, and depreciation in the value of office equipment. There are a few NEW ways you can work out your deductions related to working from home depending on your situation. The most straightforward of these is the temporary shortcut method, which uses a rate of 80 cents per hour to calculate your claim for all out-of-pocket, work-related expenses. This is a great way to save on a lot of paperwork, all you need to do is to keep a record of the number of hours that you actually did work at home during the week. For example, if you worked from home for the whole year – 40 hours a week, 48 weeks of the year – that would be a straight-out standard claim of approximately $1,500, which is very easy and simple to work out.

Do you have tax questions after another year of COVID? Here’s what individuals and business owners should know in 2021…

What can’t I claim?

Claiming excessive deductions can invalidate your return. Taxpayers who are found to have made claims outside what is allowed will have their returns amended, and could be liable for penalties if they’re found to have intentionally misused the tax system. While there are many working from home expenses you can claim, the ATO won’t cover everything you are used to from the office or worksite. Some obvious examples of things that you cant claim are the TimTam’s and Nespresso pods. Even if your employer used to supply these they are not tax-deductible under the scheme. The tax office has seen people try to claim many things as working from home expenses. Other costs that might trip you up are costs associated with their child’s education. Another expense that you might try and claim our occupancy costs but these do not count against tax-deductible working from home expenses.

What new things do I have to declare?

Tax Payers are required to declare any cryptocurrency income in their returns after the law changed on July 1, 2017. Taxable events from transaction fees and payments for goods or services using cryptocurrencies must be declared in your tax return as normal income. One exception is if you’re an independent contractor paid to supply digital currency ‘mining’ services. The ATO said it will be keeping an eye out to ensure the more than 600,000 Australians who have invested in crypto assets such as bitcoin in recent years include it in their tax returns. It has been writing to 100,000 of them to remind them of their obligations when it comes to capital gains tax. Cryptocurrency is like an investment asset, so it is kind of like shares, and so similar tax obligations apply to cryptocurrency as it applies to shares. So if you sell, swap or exchange cryptocurrency, there will be a taxable transaction, and you are required to include that in your tax return.

What are the key dates?

Australians should be keeping an eye on the ATO website for a calendar of dates, as well as other information around your tax return. If you’re lodging your own tax return, you need to lodge it by 31 October each year. If 31 October falls on a weekend, the due date to lodge your tax return is the next business day after 31 October. If you choose to use the services of a registered tax agent, they will generally have special lodgement schedules and can lodge returns for clients later than 31 October. If you are using a registered tax agent, you need to engage them before 31 October. If you’re having difficulties meeting your tax obligations or are unable to lodge by 31 October, contact the ATO soon as possible. If you lodge your own tax return and it results in a tax bill, payment is due by 21 November even if you lodge: Between 1 July and 31 October. After the 31 October.

Should I get an accountant?

Taxpayers who are unsure about going it alone should consider getting help from a tax agent or accountant. Tax agents have much more experience in dealing with the Tax Office. Given the changing landscape of Australian taxation and finance that we live in, most people will end up needing one at some point in their lives. Just make sure you’re working with a certified professional.

Getting those calls from the ‘tax office’? How to spot scams at this time of year…

Taxation scams are common as we edge towards the end of the financial year. Taxpayers and businesses get bombarded with phishing emails or calls that often claim to be from the Tax Office, and they can be very convincing. A scammer might call you: To tell you there is a problem with your tax return.  Or that you owe money and must pay it immediately. Rest assured that there are none of these calls coming from the tax department so you can simply disregard them.

What in-language help is available?

If you want to speak with an ATO officer in your language, please call 13 28 61. We can provide translation if needed.

How do I check my Tax File Number (TFN)?

You can find your tax file number through:

·        a myGov account linked to the ATO under the ‘Find my TFN’ section

·        on any previous ATO letters or notices, the ATO has sent you

If you would like more information about how Bee Sure Financial can help you contact us today on 0434 113 962.

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