Australian Tax Return, When and How?

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Taxes are one of the certainties of life. When you do your Australian tax return you can get money back or you may have to pay more.

If you earn a salary, your employer deducts the tax every time they pay you. So then why would you have to lodge your tax return?

Because you can have additional income, for example from interest at the bank, from shares, from rent and other payments that are made to you.

If you don't, then maybe you can claim back some expenses that you had to make and are related to your work.

So,  you can get money back but sometimes you have to pay more tax. Both situations are good, if you have a positive mindset:       

  • If you have to pay... it means you earned a lot, so you are now giving back, to share with others.         
  • If you are on the receiving end, well is money in your pocket, so you don't have to try hard to make this one a positive.

When Should You Do Your Tax Return?

The end of the financial year is 30 June. You have 4 months to do your taxes. Lodge them before October 31.
With your first tax return, if you worked for only a part of the whole 12 months of the financial year, you may have the pleasant surprise to receive a nice cheque from the Australian Tax Office.

You may also have such pleasant surprises if you can claim various investment or work related expenses. For example if you wear a uniform at work and you need to clean it or if you are doing some studies in your area of employment. Talk to a financial planner or do some reading on the ATO website, to see what you can claim.

If you are looking for an Australian tax calculator, ATO is the site to go. There is a simple calculator that will take several minutes to complete and a more complex one that will take about half an hour of your time.

Australian Tax Return - How to Lodge It?

Life in Australia can offer you opportunities and challenges: jobs, investments, payments. They all influence your financial circumstances.

If the money matters are simple, for example you receive income only from your job, you can work out your own tax return.

Just follow the instructions provided with the tax pack. Pick a tax pack, for free, at a news agent or download it off the Australian Taxation Office website.

australian tax return - tax pack

The best option is to register for e-tax and do everything online. Insert your Australian tax file number and your personal details and follow the instructions. Quick and free.

The first tax return you'll do after you move to Australia will take more of your time, because you'll have to read all the explanations in the pack or online and understand the terminology.

Once you've done it, the following year it will be much easier.

But if your situation is more complex or you simply don't like to deal with financial stuff, go to a tax accountant.

Come tax time, you'll see tax outlets in shopping centres.

Prices vary with the complexity: for a basic tax return, the cost can be around 100$ or less.

For a complex one, which can include investments such as shares or properties, there are additional fees for each investment you own. Just ask how much the accountant charges, before piling all your papers on their desk.

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