What will you do with your tax refund?

Thousands of Australians receive tax refunds every year. Some refunds won’t even cover the cost of a pizza to celebrate, however many are quite substantial. If you’re one of the lucky ones, what will you do with your tax windfall?

If you go out and spend it, all you’re doing is giving part of it back to the government in the form of GST. Sure it’s nice to splurge once in a while but there are other places you can stash your cash and reap a longer term benefit. Read More

Work from home expenses under scrutiny

If you worked from home during lockdown and spent money on work related items that were not reimbursed by your business, you might be able to claim some of these expenses as a deduction – but not everything you purchase can be claimed.

The ATO has stated that it is looking very closely at work related deductions that are being claimed. If you are claiming your expenses, there are three methods you can use:

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Super guarantee rate increase to 10%

What changes on 1 July 2021? We’ve summarised the key 1 July 2021 changes and their implications.

Super guarantee rate increase to 10%

On 1 July 2021, the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) rate will rise from 9.5% to 10% – the first rise since 2014. It will then steadily increase each year until it reaches 12% on 1 July 2025.

The 0.5% increase does not mean that everyone gets an automatic pay increase, this will depend on your employment agreement.

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Tax exemption for ‘granny flat’ arrangements

To protect older Australians, the Government has moved to formalise ‘granny flat arrangements’ by providing an incentive to protect all parties in the arrangement.

Typically, granny flat arrangements occur when an older person transfers some sort of consideration (often title to property or proceeds from the sale of property) to their adult child in exchange for the promise of ongoing care, support and housing. In some circumstances, it’s a way for a parent to give their children access to their inheritance when it’s needed not at a later point when the person dies.

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Get Every Possible Deduction This Tax Year

As tax time approaches, make sure you’re ready to claim all the deductions you’re entitled to. These include the following:

Travel. If you use your own car for work related duties, you may be able to claim a deduction for related expenses. There are two ways to calculate these deductions; using a logbook or the cents per kilometre method. Either way, make sure you are tracking all of your travel throughout the year to make it simpler at tax time. In most circumstances, you can’t claim the trip to and from work.

Clothing, laundry and dry cleaning.  You can claim on the cost of purchasing and cleaning uniforms and other work related clothing. It needs to be clothing specific to your work (such as safety clothing or a shirt with a logo on it) and not just general black pants or a white shirt that matches a work dress code.

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Working from home? How to boost your next tax return

With the range of technology and software available today, it’s become easier than ever to work from home.

Employees can efficiently complete calls using teleconferencing software, many collaboration tools are now cloud-based, and work devices, including laptops and tablets, are light and portable.

If you’ve been working from home, you’ve likely also set up a dedicated work area, and you’re using your own electricity and resources to power your workday. But which of these items can you claim in your next tax return to ensure you maximise your return?

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Salary sacrifice vs personal contributions to super

If you are an employee, there are two ways in which you can optimise the tax-effectiveness of your additional super contributions:

  • Opt for a salary sacrifice arrangement, whereby your employer makes additional superannuation contributions beyond the compulsory superannuation guarantee (SG) amount from your pre-tax earnings and reduces your salary accordingly; or
  • Make a personal contribution and claim a tax deduction when you submit your tax return.

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