First time tax checklist

First time tax checklist
5 July 2019    Donnay Torr    0 comments
Tax time sending shivers down your spine? This handy tax checklist will help you gather everything you need to do your tax return.

First-time-tax-checklist

You can also download our first-timer tax checklist here, our tax checklist for trainees and apprentices here, and our tax checklist for freelancers here.

Income

You need:
  • PAYG or Payment Summary
  • Statement(s) for interest earned on any savings
  • Income records for work in the share community - Uber, AirTasker, Deliveroo etc.
  • Records of any other freelancing work you did
  • Government payments or allowances you received
  • Any other form of income that you received

Income Notes

If you have a tax agent, they can collect the information about your income and the tax you paid throughout the year from your employer (s) so you no longer need to provide a PAYG or Payment Summary. If you file your own return, you’ll have to keep track of all of the above.

The ATO data match with businesses in the Share Community so make sure you declare ALL your income for any gigs you do through them.

Keep life simple by opening a separate bank account for freelance (or Share Community) work. Pay all your freelance income into that account and use that account to pay expenses you incur for you freelance work. For example: Travel fares, materials, stock images etc.

Learn more about gig economy tax rules here:

Work-related expenses

Work-related expenses can be claimed on your tax return as tax deductions. Tax deductions are expenses that can be deducted from your taxable income. These help to increase the tax refund amount you get back from the ATO each year.

  • Tools and equipment – the cost of any tools or equipment you bought or leased to do your job (Power tools, work bags, stationery, lenses, software, materials etc.)
  • Safety and Protective items (aprons, sun protection, gloves, ear protection, safety glasses/visors, masks, overalls, harnesses etc.)
  • Travel expenses (Traveling between venues, to training courses or work-related events)
  • Work-related training expenses (course fees, equipment, travel costs, accommodation and meals, if you are required to stay away from home for the duration)
  • Phone expenses (work % only for lease or purchase costs)
  • Laptop expenses (work % only for lease or purchase costs)
  • Home office expenses (if you are required to work at home sometimes)
  • Personal car expenses (if you use your car as part of your job or to transport supplies or equipment for your boss)
  • Subscriptions for work related magazines, journals or resources used for your job.
 
You can generally claim a work-related expense as a tax deduction if all of the following are true:
  • you spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed by your employer
  • the expense was directly related to earning your income
  • you have a record to prove that you spent the money
Read more about tax-deductible expenses here.

Other tax-deductible expenses

  • Your tax agent fees!
  • Insurances (Income protection paid outside of your Superannuation)
  • Charity donations (registered charities only)
  • Personal super contributions

Deduction notes

Remember to keep good records so that you don’t forget any tax-deductible expenses each year.

Remember that receipts fade so take a photo each time you get one. If a receipt can’t be read, it can’t be claimed.

Download our First-timer tax checklist here, our tax checklist for trainees and apprentices here, and our tax checklist for freelancers here.

Confused by tax? Read our Tax FAQs for help!

Thank you to our friends at Etax.com.au for helping us compile the content for these checklists!

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Main photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
Gifs from Giphy.com

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