Frequently asked questions

Find answers to commonly asked questions about tax, our services, and tips on claiming deductions below.

Taxable income

Frequently asked questions about taxable income.

If you believe this is an error, you should contact your bank to verify the interest earned from your accounts. The bank should then notify the ATO in writing if an error has been made. You have 28 days to ensure this informtion is corrected.

On the other hand, if you have omitted interest from your bank accounts, which is defined as taxable income, you will not need to contact the ATO. They will automatically amend your tax return and send you a revised assessment requesting payment of the additional tax, a general interest charge and any additional penalties. 

A Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) is paid by employers in situations where an employee is required to work in a region that differs from their usual workplace. In these cases, the employer pays costs for living away from home to the employee.

This is not a form of taxable income, meaning it does not need to be declared in your tax return. It is an allowance which is not subject to tax, provided it is paid in compliance with ATO guidelines. You are not able to claim expenses against LAFHA.

From 2012, the LAFHA has been taxed to the employer under the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) scheme.

The employer can reduce FBT on the amount paid to the employee, for a maximum of 12 months, if the employee continues to maintain a home in Australia for personal use whilst they are required to live away from home for work; and
signs a declaration stating they are living away from home.

If these rules are met, employers can reduce the taxable value of LAFHA by the equivalent amount of the employee’s accommodation expenditure; food or drink costs, less a statutory amount.

Your inheritance is not taxable unless the executor advises otherwise. However, if you invest the inheritance or earn interest on it, then these earnings become taxable.

You cannot declare all of the interest in your partner’s tax return and doing this could lead to an audit from the ATO. Interest must be declared by each recipient in the same way as the accounts are held. This means interest from a joint account will need to be split 50 / 50. 

Its always best to be careful in situations like this. Not all investment opportunities are genuine. Some will promise large tax deductions which they claim are allowed by the ATO. Its best to do your research around any investment opportunity before investing. 

If you do invest in a risky tax scheme, there is a high likelihood you may lose money, and will be forced to pay back refunds where you have over-claimed deductions, as well as any interest and penalties.

Prior to investing,  it is best to seek advice from a professional advisor or the ATO itself. Information about investment schemes can be found on the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission) and ACC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) SCAMwatch website.

In short, each of your children will need to lodge a tax return.

From 2011, minors do not have access to the low income rebate for unearned income (i.e. trust distributions, dividends, interest, rent, royalties etc.). Minors receiving more than $416 in unearned income need to lodge a tax return.

Personal exertion income (i.e. salary or wages) are still taxed, but the tax payable can be reduced through the low income tax offset. Unearned income does not attract the low income rebate and will be taxed at minors’ rates.

In this case, there is no need to lodge a full tax return.

Instead, you should complete the Refund of Franking Credits for Individuals (RFCI) form which you can lodge over the phone or mail directly to the tax office.

Typically, yes. Overseas pensions, in most cases, are taxable. If you are an Australian resident, you need to include the overseas pension amount in your tax return. However, there are a few exceptions so it is always best to consult a tax professional and obtain some advice. 

You must declare all of your income. The ATO needs to work out what tax rate applies to your earnings for the year. However, you could be eligible for an offset which ensures no tax is payable on your Centrelink benefit.

More information is  available via Centrelink online services, Express plus mobile apps and at self-service terminals at Department of Human Services Service Centres. 

You only need tp pay tax on what you earn from the time you move to Australia. If the money you brought to Australia accumulates interest in a bank account or is invested, tax will need to be paid on the interest.

Overseas income is  taxable. You must declare the income on your tax return, but you could be entitled to a foreign income tax offset for any foreign tax you paid on that income.

You will be exempt from paying tax in Australia on overseas income if you have worked overseas continuously for 90 or more days and are working on an Australian government project or deployed through an Australian government agency.

Tax deductions

Common questions about tax deductions.

Work related tax deductions

You can claim expenses incurred in replacing, repairing and insuring tools of trade used for earning an income. If the initial cost of any item is over $300, it must be depreciated over its effective life. The amount you can claim will depend on the extent you use the item for income production.

If technical books, trade books or journals are required to fulfill your job function effectively, these purchases are tax deductible.

For outdoor workers who buy sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and hats for use at work, a deduction is available. However, these claims must be substantiated and apportioned for work versus private use.

There are two ways of claiming work related motor vehicle expenses and each one has a different way of record keeping. To make sure you choose the best method claim it is good to keep a logbook and all receipts for expenses (i.e. registration, insurance, repairs, tyres, service, petrol). A logbook must be kept for 12 consecutive weeks minimum and is valid for 5 years except where there are changes to your circumstances. 

You are not required to use the same claim method every year. Choice of method should be determined by which is more favourable and which you have the appropriate records for. In the event you do not have a current logbook or have not kept all receipts, you will be restricted in the method you can claim. If your car is salary packaged, you cannot claim any expenses.

Expenses on personal grooming and haircuts are typically not deductible. There are exceptions for individuals working in the performing arts field.

Compulsory work uniforms are deductible provided they identify you as an employee of the organisation or in a specific occupation. Corporate wardrobes are deductible if specific conditions are satisfied. The clothing design must be registered with AusIndustry. If the clothing is deductible, you can claim maintenance costs such as laundry, dry cleaning or repair.

On the other hand, a requirement to wear specific colours does not make the clothes deductible (i.e. hospitality staff required to wear black clothing). A requirement to wear a company’s own brand of clothes is also not automatically tax deductible.

Even if your employer requires you to wear it, fashion clothing is not tax deductible. As the brand logo is on the clothing and does not in personally identify you as an employee it cannot be claimed.

You need to incur expenses before they can be claimed. You cannot simply just claim $300. Although you do need receipts for expenses up to $300 you must have spent the money on expenses that are relevant to your employment.

Travel related tax deductions

To claim a tax deduction for travel expenses, the travel must be relevant to your job. If this is the case, and you have the required documentation, you can claim the cost of both transport and any incidentals. For example, if the travel included an overnight stay, you can claim your meals. if you are travelling overseas, you are required to keep a travel diary.

You can only claim a deduction if you have actually incurred a work-related expense and kept the required documentation. Generally, travel to and from your workplace is not claimable unless, for instance, you are transporting bulky items. Some award agreements provide a travel allowance even if an expense is not incurred by the employee. In the event a deduction can be claimed, it must not be for more than the expense incurred even if the allowance you receive is higher.

As the main purpose of the trip was a holiday, and attendance at the seminar was incidental to this, you cannot claim the cost of the trip. You can only claim the additional expenses incurred in attending the seminar, such as the seminar registration fee, the taxi charges etc.

Business related tax deductions

If you carry out all or part of your employment activities from home and have an office set aside to do the work, a proportion of the expenses are tax deductible. You must keep a diary for 4 weeks minimum logging the hours that the office was used for work. A Commissioner’s rate can be claimed for these hours. Only running expenses such as electricity, heating and depreciation of office equipment are claimable unless your entire home is a place of business.

Where a home is a place of business, and is clearly identified (i.e. separate entry or signage) tax deductions can be claimed on both occupancy and running expenses, including:

  • Mortgage interest
  • Rent
  • House insurance
  • Council rates
  • Insurance
  • Repairs
  • Cleaning
  • Pest control
  • Maintenance
  • Decorating
  • Telephone
  • Heating
  • Lighting
  • Depreciation

A portion of the fixed costs are deductible where an individual is required to make calls from home. Call costs are also deductible. A call log must be kept for 4 weeks minimum. Mobile phones are claimed in the same way. Installation costs are not deductible. 

If you purchase items to be used as part of your job, they can be claimed on your tax return. As the cost of these items is likely to be over $300 each you will not be able to claim the full cost in one year. 

Instead, you will need to spread the claim over the useful life of each item (depreciation) where only the work-related proportion can be claimed. You need to keep a usage log for 4 weeks minimum for each item to work out the exact portion you are eligible to claim.

The Australian Taxation Office has confirmed that iPads are equivalent to a laptop. If they are used for work related activities, you can claim these in your tax return. Each claim must be adjusted if there is private use. If the iPad costs $300 or more, the work-related proportion needs to be depreciated. A log should be kept for at least four weeks to determine the proportion that you can claim.

Other tax deductions

Childcare expenses are not tax deductible. Eligible individuals can claim the Child Care Rebate (CCR) through the Family Assistance Office.

You are not able to claim this because it is not a donation. You are receiving something for your money, which is classified as a purchase and is not tax deductible. This also applies to purchasing things like raffle tickets. Only a donation to a registered charities can be claimed.

There is no limit set on the amount you can claim every year, given the expenses are incurred in the process of earning an income. Your expenses must be work related and you will likely need receipts as evidence of your expenditure. If you have incomplete, incorrect or no records, the amount you can claim may be limited. It is usually best to obtain advice from a registered tax agent. DD’s Taxation & Accounting are happy to advise all our clients on record keeping that will enable them to maximise their tax deductions.

The ATO would accept a credit card slip as proof of purchase if it states the details of the supplier and the date of purchase. Individuals can note the type of goods purchased directly on the credit card slip.

Lots of people use the internet to purchase work related items. The tax office accepts Bpay or email receipts if they contain the date, supplier, nature of the goods and the amount paid.

Receipts and other supporting documents should be kept for 5 years from the issue date of your assessment for relevant tax year. In the event you are depreciating an asset, the receipts must be kept until the item is fully depreciated (even if over 5 years).

The fees paid to a registered tax agent (such as DD’s Taxation & Accounting) for preparing your tax return, making amendments and handling tax matters are all tax deductible. In addition, you can claim travel to your registered tax agent (up to 5,000km total across the entire return if using the c/km method). Legally, registered tax agents are the only people who can receive payment for preparing a tax return.

Tax and education

Frequently asked questions about tax and education.

For self-education costs to be claimable, they need to be connected to your current income. This means the self-education needs to help with your current job and cannot be claimed if it is completed to open up new job opportunities.

Example of non claimable self-education costs: Katherine is studying a science degree so that she can become a scientist. Expenses related to her study are not tax deductible because the study is being undertaken to open up a new income-earning activity.

Example of claimable self-education costs: James, a trainee consultant, is studying business at university part-time. He can claim the costs associated with his course because it will allow him to maintain or improve the knowledge required in his current role and perform his job more effectively.

The Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 1) Bill 2012 denies any deduction for study expenses for full-time students receiving Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy.

Not allowing deductions for expenses incurred in gaining or producing a rebatable benefit acknowledges that government assistance payments are effectively tax-free and individuals should not be able to receive additional benefits by way of a tax deduction against their income for expenses incurred in qualifying for the payment.

You can make voluntary repayments at any time to reduce the balance of your debt. You may still have to make a compulsory repayment or pay an overseas levy if, after making your voluntary repayment:

  • You still have a debt
  • Your repayment income is above the minimum repayment threshold.

Voluntary repayments are in addition to compulsory repayments/overseas levy and are not refundable.

In 2012 the Government passed legislation to deny any deduction for job seeking expenses by those who receive Newstart or Youth Allowance.

The costs associated with seminars are tax deductible only if they relate to your current income producing activities.

Superannuation

Common questions about superannuation and tax.

There is a limit to the amount you can voluntarily contribute into your superannuation on a concessional basis. Superannuation contribution limits are in place to limit the tax benefits available each year.

If you make contributions over these limits, you will incur additional tax, and excess concessional contributions are counted towards the non-concessional cap.

Concessional contributions are tax deductible and include both employer and personal contributions claimed by those who are self-employed.

The concessional contributions cap at present, regardless of your age is $25,000 per year.

If you are 65 or older, you will be required to meet a work test to contribute to your super in most cases. This means you need to work 40 hours or more during 30 consecutive days at any time throughout the financial year to make tax deductible and non-deductible contributions to your superannuation.

Non-concessional contributions are those which are made from after-tax income. There is no tax applied when they are contributed to your superannuation fund. Once in your fund, the normal fund tax rates apply to earnings.

The non-concessional contributions cap is $100,000. $300,000 can be contributed over a three-year fixed period under the ‘bring forward rule’.

In the event you have a superannuation balance of approximately $1.6 million, you can only access the bring forward rule for the number of years required to bring your balance up to $1.6m. If you trigger the bring forward rule and your balance reaches $1.6m, you cannot make further non-concessional contributions even if you still have not fully used the remainder of the bring forward cap.

If you have triggered the bring forward rule before 2016/17 but the full $540,000 was not contributed, you will be restricted to a transitional bring forward cap.

If you are over 65 you cannot utilise the ‘bring forward’ rule, even if you meet the work test.

Money that is paid into super account by your employer in accordance with Superannuation Guarantee obligations, as well as payments under a salary sacrifice arrangement are referred to as concessional contributions.

Salary sacrificing into super typically includes asking your employer to redirect a portion of your before-tax salary into your super account. These contributions are taxed at a rate of 15% within your super fund. For most people, this tax rate is lower than their usual tax rate.

The annual concessional contributions cap per person, is $25,000. And if your total employer super guarantee and salary sacrifice contributions go over this amount, you might need to pay additional tax.

Its best to check your employment contract or talk to your employer before opting to salary sacrifice into your superannuation. Also, you should keep in mind that you employer is entitled to calculate your super guarantee contributions on your reduced salary, after your salary sacrifice. As you may not want your super guarantee contributions to be reduced, its best to obtain a written confirmation that your employer will continue paying contributions on your gross income.

If you have been salary sacrificing into your superannuation fund, the amount that is contributed will be included in the employer superannuation contribution amount shown on your PAYG payment summary. Any super contributions for which a tax deduction has been claimed are also included. This typically means any benefits received from Centrelink or the Family Assistance Office that are dependent on an income test will take these amounts into account.

This is taken into account when calculating Child Support payments and your liability to the Medicare levy surcharge or HECS-HELP debt repayments. It could also influence tax offsets you claim on your tax return.

Individuals are 60 or older do not pay tax on super income streams (such as annuities or pensions) which are paid from a taxed super fund. Taxed superannuation funds are those where contributions tax is paid on contributions made by an employer into your fund on your behalf.

Contributions tax would also have been paid for contributions made under a salary sacrifice arrangement.

Most superannuation funds are taxed. However, those who belong to an untaxed fund will still need to pay tax on their superannuation income, regardless of age.

Individuals over 60 (for the full financial year) who receive a super income stream from a taxed fund no longer receive a PAYG Payment summary.

You can make a tax deduction for your personal super contribution.

You must submit a ‘notice of intent to claim’ via an approved ATO form to your super fund before you lodge your tax return, or before the following June 30th, whichever comes first.

Also, you need to receive an acknowledgement from your superannuation fund that the notice of intent has been received, before you can claim the tax deduction.

If you make a personal contribution to your superannuation, you don’t have to claim a tax deduction. It will be treated as a non-concessional contribution and won’t be taxed in your super fund. You could be entitled to a co-contribution for amounts you do not claim as a tax deduction.

If you don’t tell your super fund what your Tax File Number is, your fund will be forced to pay additional tax on any contributions made by your employer (including salary sacrifice).

Without your TFN on record, your fund will not be able to accept personal contributions you make, and government co-contributions you are entitled to will not be paid into your superannuation account.

Tax and family

Frequently asked questions about tax and family.

If you and your partner got married during the year, you could be eligible to claim a reduction in Medicare depending on your income. You will need to know your spouse’s income before and after you got married. A separate tax return will be required to lodge if your partner earned an income throughout the year. On each of your tax returns, you must disclose information about the other person so any family tax benefits can be calculated accurately.

Some individuals could be entitled to the Invalid and Invalid Carer Tax Offset. If your spouse is unable to work because he/she is an invalid or care for an invalid, you may qualify for the Invalid or Invalid Carer Tax Offset. The invalid must be receiving a Government disability payment in order to qualify.

If you are living in a domestic situation, in a relationship as a couple, you can claim the same family tax benefits as opposite-sex partners.

Families who are eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A receive a payment for each child in primary school and secondary school.

You need to lodge your tax return within 12 months after the end of the financial year so the Family Assistance Office can verify you have been receiving the correct payment amount. In the event you overestimated your income, you may receive a top-up payment. However, if you underestimated your income, the overpayment will need to be paid back.

For example, for payments received during the income year (2019-2020) you will be required to lodge your tax return by the end of the following financial year (30 June 2021). If you have a partner, your partner’s tax return must be lodged by that date as well. Failing to meet this deadline may result in your payments being stopped and having to repay the amounts you have already received. If the ATO does not require you to lodge a tax return, you should notify the Family Assistance Office.

Maintenance payments are not tax deductible and cannot be claimed.

The Family Tax Benefit is designed to help individuals with the cost of raising children. It is available for those who:

  • Have a dependent child or secondary student younger than 20 currently not receiving a Government benefit such as Youth Allowance
  • Provide care for a child at least 35% of the time
  • Meet an income test

This is the basic eligibility for the Family Tax Benefit, but if you would like further information, head over to the Department of Human Services website.

Business tax

Common questions about business tax.

All Australian businesses with $75,000 or more annual turnover are required to register for GST. Businesses with a lower turnover do not have to register for GST but could do so if they wish. You are only be required to charge GST if you are registered for GST. DD’s Taxation & Accounting can assist with GST registrations and BAS reporting.

From 2008 Australian businesses could claim fuel tax credits for machinery, plant, equipment and heavy vehicles used in running the business.

To make a claim the business must be registered for GST and the claim should be made on your Business Activity Statement (BAS).

Amounts claimed will depend on the type of fuel and how it is used. Fuel tax credits are not available where alternative fuels (such as LPG) are used.

To work out if you are eligible for small business entity concessions, you first need to work out if you are a ‘small business entity’ in an income year. You must review your eligibility each year to check if you are able or required to use a particular concession.
From 1 July 2016, you are a small business entity if you are a sole trader, partnership, company or trust that:

  • Operates a business for all or part of the income year, and
  • Has an aggregated turnover less than $10 million (the turnover threshold).

Because of this you have access to a several small business concessions including:

  • Income tax concessions
  • Capital gains tax concessions
  • Excise concessions
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) concessions
  • Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalment concessions
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) concessions.

You could claim a deduction for the superannuation contributions you have made to your superannuation fund or retirement savings.

You also need to notify your superannuation fund of your intention to make the claim and have received a confirmation from the fund.

If you carry out all or part of your employment activities from home and have an office set aside to do the work, a proportion of the expenses are tax deductible. You must keep a diary for 4 weeks minimum logging the hours that the office was used for work. A Commissioner’s rate can be claimed for these hours. Only running expenses such as electricity, heating and depreciation of office equipment are claimable unless your entire home is a place of business.

Where a home is a place of business, and is clearly identified (i.e. separate entry or signage) tax deductions can be claimed on both occupancy and running expenses, including:

  • Mortgage interest
  • Rent
  • House insurance
  • Council rates
  • Insurance
  • Repairs
  • Cleaning
  • Pest control
  • Maintenance
  • Decorating
  • Telephone
  • Heating
  • Lighting
  • Depreciation

Other FAQ's

Other frequently asked questions about tax.

Lodging tax returns

You should lodge your outstanding tax returns as soon as possible and before the Australian Taxation Office takes any action to have you lodge these tax returns. Once they have begun any action, it could result in a court conviction. The ATO may charge a late lodgement penalty and interest on any outstanding monies. 

Your return can be completed using the details from a copy of the PAYG Payment Summary, a letter from your employer detailing the information on the PAYG Payment Summary or by reviewing your pay slips for that period. If you are unable to obtain the payment summary details from an employer a Statutory Declaration would need to be completed. The detail from your PAYG Payment Summary may also be accessible by your tax consultant on the ATO Portal.

Your partner does need to lodge a return even though their income is below the tax free threshold. Any earnings that have had tax withheld, no matter how small, are required to be reported on a tax return. This is also the only way to get a refund of the tax paid.

No, you cannot do that. A PAYG Payment Summary from a past year cannot be included with the current year tax return as the income on it was not earned in the current year. It can only be included in the return for the year to which it relates. You will need to submit an amendment to last year’s tax return.

It is necessary to complete a tax return to date of death if a return has been lodged in past years. This return, marked final, must show all income received to the date of death.

If you owe tax and lodge your return late, any amount owing will be payable on 21 November this year and a general interest charge will be calculated from then until payment is made. The ATO may charge a late lodgement penalty. Unless you use a registered tax agent, you have from 1 July until 31 October to lodge your return. If you need an extension of time either contact the ATO or your accountant for assistance before 31 October.

It isn’t necessary to complete a return before leaving Australia unless you will not be back before the due date for lodgement of your return (31 October). If you won’t be back until after that date contact the Australian Taxation Office or a registered tax agent to apply for an extension of time to lodge.

Temporary working VISAs

Since 1 July 2006 there has been a separate category for people who are temporarily living in Australia. A permanent resident is generally taxed on all income in and out of Australia but a temporary resident is exempt from paying tax on certain classes of income. People who exhibit the behaviour of a ‘resident’ and hold a temporary visa granted under the Migration Act of 1958 will be taxed at resident rates. Temporary residents may also be liable to pay the Medicare levy unless they are eligible to apply for an exemption.

You would be considered to be a non-resident for tax purposes because you have not settled in any one place and established a home during your stay in Australia. You may not get all your tax back when you lodge a tax return because you will be charged non-resident tax rates. This means that you have to pay tax on every dollar of your taxable income. You will not have to pay the Medicare levy though.

Non-residents pay tax on Australian source income. They pay tax on every dollar of taxable income as declared on their tax return but do not pay Medicare. Residents have to declare all income earned in and out of Australia. A tax free threshold is available to them and a resident may be entitled to claim some tax offsets (rebates) that are not available to non-residents. Depending on their income, a resident may also have to pay the Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge.

Reducing your tax bill

One of the ways you can reduce the tax you pay is by salary sacrificing in return for employment related benefits. The advantage of salary sacrificing is that your benefit is purchased with pre-tax dollars. 

If you salary sacrifice into superannuation this will attract a contributions tax of 15%. If your contributions exceed the threshold for that year, you will be taxed at a higher rate. With the new tax free threshold, as you are paying 19 cents in the dollar (plus Medicare) for any amount you earn over the tax free threshold, this is greater than the 15% payable in contributions tax.

However, any amounts that are sacrificed into superannuation will now also be taken into account for the new income tests that determine liability to pay the Medicare levy surcharge and the entitlement to claim dependent tax rebates and pensioner tax offsets.

Some people with two or more jobs or other tax income may be caught in an unintentional tax trap as a result of the new increased tax free threshold. The problem occurs even if the taxpayer and the employers do the right thing – as determined by ATO tax PAYG scales. The first job attracts the tax-free threshold while second and subsequent jobs are taxed in line with the progressive tax tables supplied by the ATO. It causes taxpayers to be, in effect, under-taxed on their ordinary earnings, which can result in a tax bill at the end of the financial year. 

Tax File Numbers (TFN)

If you are an Australian resident for tax purposes, 16 years old or older and able to attend an interview at one of the participating Australia Post retail outlets, you can apply for a TFN on the web. Otherwise, you will need to complete a paper Tax file number – application or enquiry for individuals (NAT 1432) form. You can get a copy of this form by phoning the ATO on 13 28 61, from online ordering or from one of the ATO shopfronts.

Provided you have applied for a tax file number, you have 28 days to quote your tax file number to your employer.

If you are an overseas student living in Australia and have had your visa amended to allow you to work, you can apply for a tax file number (TFN) on the internet. You will not need to provide documentation as proof of identity because the ATO will compare your personal and travel document details with those held on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) system. Provided the matching process is successful a TFN will be mailed to the Australian address that you provided on the application. This internet service is also available to working holidaymakers, New Zealanders who get a visa on arrival, and permanent migrants.

Medicare Levy

The Medicare levy surcharge is payable where your income is over a threshold amount and you do not have adequate private hospital insurance. The threshold amount for a single taxpayer is currently $90,000 and for families with up to one dependent child it is $180,000. If your income for surcharge purposes exceeds the relevant amount and you do not have private hospital cover, you will pay the surcharge.

Income for surcharge purposes includes your taxable income, exempt foreign employment income, investment losses as well as reportable fringe benefits and reportable superannuation contributions. The private health insurance rebate and the Medicare levy surcharge are income tested against three income tier thresholds. Higher income earners will receive less private health insurance rebate or, if they do not have the appropriate level of private patient hospital cover, the Medicare levy surcharge may increase.

Other FAQs

  • An income statement – if your employer reports your income, tax and super information to us through Single Touch Payroll (STP) they are no longer required to give you a payment summary, this information will be made available to you through ATO online services via myGov and finalised by 31 July
  • A payment summary – if your employer is not yet reporting through STP they will continue to provide you with a payment summary by 14 July (as they do now)..

You must keep all the records, receipts and other documentation you have used to prepare your tax return. If you are claiming deductions, you must keep written evidence to verify your claims for those deductions.

If you are an individual, you must keep proper records relating to your tax affairs for at least five years from the date of your assessment. If you are a small business, you must keep proper records relating to your tax affairs for at least five years from when the business record is prepared or the transaction is completed, whichever occurs later.
If at the end of the five year period, you are involved in a dispute with the Commissioner (an audit, for example), the five year period is extended.

If you use information from your records in a later tax return, you may have to keep records for longer. So, if you carry forward a tax loss, you must keep the records until the end of any period of review for the income tax return in which the loss is fully deducted. If you own an asset which will be subject to capital gains tax on disposal, you will need to keep records covering the entire period of ownership until 5 years after lodgment of the tax return recording the disposal of the asset.

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