Preparing for Your Tax Return Appointment

Tax returnThere are few things less appealing for an accountant than a client who attends their appointment empty handed. Our team at Integra Business Accountants may be able to work magic when it comes to numbers, but there is very little they can achieve from thin air, let alone understand your business and get you the best returns they can. Being prepared is not just a great motto for boy scouts; it is a wise approach for everyone. Whether they are in business or not, the level of commitment to being organised and prepared is usually highly indicative of how quickly your accountant will be able to process your paperwork and get you your tax return!

If you are a new client, it is imperative to allow your accountant access to your previous tax return, whether it be online or in paper format. This should include your personal details, tax file number, income streams (ie. employment or methods of income), tax offsets, deductions, and other relevant information previously claimed. Also have your bank account details in the event that you’re entitled to a refund.

If you use an online accounting software package for your business, all or most of your data should be available online for us to access. Most business accounting software captures business transactions, and allow you to record data in a suitable format. These programs usually also allow 24/7 access to your records.

What to bring?

Depending on whether you’re coming in for an individual tax return, for your business, or both, the following checklist will assist you with the essentials to bring to your tax appointment.

Income

  • PAYG summaries from employers
  • Bank statements for any interest received during the financial year
  • Distributions from trusts, partnerships, managed super funds
  • Allowances (car, travel, entertainment, meals etc)
  • Government pensions and allowances
  • Foreign income
  • Capital gains – for example, sale of shares or property
  • Dividends
  • Personal services income
  • Net income/loss from business
  • Rental income – for example, from an investment property
  • Lump sum termination payments
  • Superannuation lump sum payments

Expenses for tax deductions

  • Motor vehicle expenses based on business use percentage and kilometres travelled (include your log book if applicable)
  • Travel and accommodation information – domestic and overseas
  • Work uniforms and other clothing expenses
  • Courses, education and seminars
  • Home office expenses
  • Computer, software and repairs
  • Tools and equipment
  • Employee costs
  • Superannuation contributions
  • Rent/lease payments
  • Interest paid – say on an investment property loan
  • Dividend deductions
  • Bank fees
  • Low value pool deductions/depreciation
  • Telephone and internet costs
  • Freight and transport costs
  • Utilities – electricity, gas, water
  • Legal and accounting fees
  • Donations
  • Income protection insurance
  • Details of any asset purchases

If You Are In Business

We may also require the following information for review, so it is recommended you bring copies of:

  • Bank and credit card statements
  • Lease, hire purchase, chattel mortgage or other loan agreements to your business
  • Business Activity Statements and Instalment Activity Statements and working papers
  • Stock valuation figure after performing your June 30 stock take.

It is highly recommended that you keep receipts for all expenses and possible tax deductions you are considering claiming for you or your business. It is also a good idea to scan and file them electronically so that they are accessible should you need them for audit purposes. This may seem time consuming, however you will be thankful for your organisation and preparation should the tax office come knocking or any important documents are accidentally misplaced or damaged.

Who Can Assist Me With My Tax Return?

Absolutely every effort is made by the professionals at Integra Business Accountants to provide you with the best returns, the most comprehensive service and highest of professional standards. Being prepared for your tax return appointment ensures a smooth and simple process for everyone and gets you back out earning your money faster. Call the office on 9527 1470 to book your appointment today.