Sunday 16 August 2009
There are few things that numb the senses more than preparing your tax return. Except perhaps getting stuck next to a member of your IT department at Friday night drinks hearing about their latest online chess tournament experience.
The cold hard truth is that tax returns are Boring. With a capital B. And compulsory if you’ve paid tax on any income you’ve earned over the past financial year.
While a few of the organised ones among us will have already done it by now, the majority have been making excuses and putting it off. But with H&R Block advertisements in full flight the time is nigh.
So sharpen your pencil, fire up your laptop and get started.
Tax Return Survival Tips
- Be prepared. Ensure you have adequate supplies of coffee/Red Bull close at hand.
- Employ the old ‘shove ’em in the shoebox’ technique. As obvious as it sounds, keeping all of your receipts throughout the year in the one spot is going to make it a lot easier come tax time. You’re bound to forget items that you might be able to claim if you don’t.
- Date an accountant. Or, at least, think about hiring one if your affairs are complex. Ask for recommendations from your friends and colleagues or find one at the Chartered Accountants website.
- Consider going it alone. If you’re confident that your taxes are going to be straightforward think about doing it yourself online. Go to the ATO website and check out e-tax. Remember to investigate what you can and can’t claim-you don’t want the auditor knocking on your door enquiring about that Sass and Bide ‘uniform’ you bought. Even if it was in black.
And remember it’s not all bad-you might be one of the lucky ones who gets something back.
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