For many of you, tax time makes you sick to your stomach. But it doesn’t have to. You don’t need to lose sleep waiting for the call from your accountant or stressing when you pull out a shoebox full of receipts. Today, we will teach you how to organise your receipts for easier preparation for next year’s tax time.

1. Collect and Keep All Relevant Receipts

Many people think that if a receipt says “scrap metal” or “receipt for deposit”, it doesn’t have to be kept. But in truth, it does. You never know when this information will come in handy. If you have spent many an hour sorting through old receipts, trying to find a specific one for some reason, you know how time-consuming and frustrating it can be.

The easiest way to avoid this is to collect all relevant receipts and stick them in one place. You can save these receipts in a shoebox or buy a “receipt keeper” and store all your receipts in that.

If you do not keep all receipts, you can find yourself in a situation where you lose a receipt and end up with a higher tax bill.

2. Don’t Use Highlighter on Your Receipts

When the holidays roll around, many people like to highlight their receipts to make it easier to find the right ones come tax time. The problem is when you go to file them, the highlighter ink bleeds through, and you can’t use the receipt.

What you can do is write on your receipts with a pencil, and it will not bleed through. That way, you can highlight your receipts and use them again in your next tax season without fear of any interference from the ink.

3. Have a Filing Cabinet for Your Receipts

It is okay to have receipts from this year in your shoebox, but it is also a good idea to start putting them in a filing cabinet. Next year you won’t be searching through a mess of crumpled receipts to find the one you want. You will be able to look it up by date and type.

If you decide to use a filing cabinet, you will label it with a sticky note and a permanent marker. If it has both the purchase date and the receipts, you will be able to quickly go through the filing cabinet and find the receipt you need.

4. Put Taxable Purchases in One Area

If you suddenly start receiving an influx of receipts and you have nowhere to store them, you can start storing all your business receipts in one place. This way, you can easily file them later on and not stress over the mass amounts of receipts you are now receiving.

Get Those Receipts and Taxes in Order

Preparing for your taxes is stressful enough, even without the added headache of receipts. But receipts and taxes go hand in hand, and you can’t go with one without the other. As long as you have a small organisation, you can easily find receipts when you need them and be confident that you are filing the right amount for your tax return. If you want to make it easier on yourself, you can put your receipts in a filing cabinet, label them and never have to stress over receipts again!

SMB Accounting is one of the best accounting firms on the Sunshine Coast. We do individual tax returns, small business accounting with various small business accounting packages available, SMSF audit and Xero accounting software-based accounting business. Contact us!



June 30 is fast approaching , so you should start thinking about any work-related and/or income-generating expenses you paid since last July 1, but also if you are planning on some expenditure n the near future to bring it forward before June 30

To recognise expenses that may be suitable as tax deductions, you should consider:

  • Was the expense related to your work or income-generating activity?
  • You have spent the money, and your employer didn’t reimburse you
  • You have an official record of the expense – e.g. receipt or bank statement?

Note: If the cost was for work and personal use (e.g. home internet) combined, you need to decide the percentage of the expense related to your work or income-generating activity.

To assist, we have recognised 8 tax deductions you may be able to claim on your tax return:

  1. Dry-cleaning, clothing and laundry expenses

You may be able to claim these costs, if you purchased clothing specific for your employment/business, protective clothing or work uniforms directly related to your job. There is also a claim for related cleaning costs, as work-related expenses.

Though, you’re unlikely to be able to claim costs for conventional clothing or non-compulsory work uniforms.

To claim these costs as tax deductions, you need to have written evidence of these costs, such as diary entries and receipts.

  1. Home office expenses

With the crisis of the virus affecting us all most of us have had to result in working from home, there are several home office expenses you may be able to claim as tax deductions.

These include:

  • Phone and Internet expenses
  • Computer consumables (e.g. printer paper and ink) and stationery
  • Home office equipment (e.g. computers, phones, printers, furniture and furnishings) – you may be able to claim either:- The full cost of the items, if it’s less than $300; or
    – The decline in value (also known as depreciation) for items over $300.

Most people won’t be able to claim:

  • Home expenses, like mortgage interest, rent and rates
  • Costs of general household items, like coffee, tea and milk

Please review the criteria’s before you consider on claiming an amount for home office expenses in your tax return.

For example, you should consider whether you can claim the temporary ATO-approved ‘shortcut method’ (of 80 cents per hour for all additional running expenses) for the period 1 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

You should consider which method is best for you and the criteria you need to meet to claim a deduction.

  1. Education

If your studies were work-related and you enrolled in an eligible course, you may be able to claim a tax deduction.

  1. Industry-related deductions

You may also claim tax deductions for work-related expenses specifically related to your occupation and industry.

You can check the list of occupations and industries on the ATO website to see what industry-related tax deductions you can claim.

  1. Vehicle and travel expenses

While you generally can’t claim expenses for getting to and from your regular workplace, there are some work-related vehicle and travel expenses you may be able to claim.

These include:

  • Where your work requires you to attend multiple workplaces or locations
  • Car expenses where you need your car to perform your work duties
  • Accommodation expenses when you’re required to travel for work


  1. Other work-related expenses

Other  work-related expenses you may be able to include as tax-deductible expenses, depending on your work and individual circumstances. Expenses to consider include:

  • Overtime meals
  • Books, periodicals and digital information subscriptions
  • Safety goggles and protective sunglasses
  • Union fees, subscriptions to associations and bargaining agents fees
  1. Gifts and donations

If you gave a gift or donation to an organisation (e.g. your favourite charity), you may be able to claim a tax deduction. However, there are specific rules that apply.

Generally, you can claim any donation you made above $2 if it was to a ‘deductible gift recipient’. For gifts, different rules apply depending on the type of gift.

  1. Investment income

You may be able to claim investment income tax deductions if you’ve received:

  • Interest payments on your savings
  • Dividends from your investments in shares
  • Rental payments from an investment property
  • Another type of investment income

If you’ve received any of these, you could be entitled to claim for costs related to this income, such as interest charged on money borrowed to buy stocks or rental properties.

You may also be able to claim money you paid for investment advice.

Things to note

  • It’s important to remember that tax laws are complex, and you should ensure that you’ve confirmed you can claim an expense before including it in your tax return. Contact SMB Accounting for further clarification.
  • The Australian income year ends on 30 June. You have from 1 July to 31 October to lodge your tax return for the previous income year. If you use a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge your tax return, you may be able to lodge later than 31 October.
  • The information provided is of a general nature and doesn’t take into account your personal financial or business situation – we suggest contacting us at SMB Accounting if you need clarification.


Please feel free to share to any person you may think may benefit 😊

If you need any assistance, please get in contact with us at

 P 1300 854 159

You may now be working from home more than ever and you will be incurring costs of working from home, outlined below are various details as to  what you can claim and how to claim those deductible expenses at tax time

In order to be able to claim, all of the following must apply:

      • You must have spent the money.
      • The expense must be directly related to earning your income.
      • You must have a record to prove it.

No deduction can be claimed for items that your employer has provided or where you have been reimbursed for the expense.

If you are not reimbursed by your employer, but instead receive an allowance from them to cover your expenses when you work from home, you:

      • must include this allowance as income in your tax return.
      • can claim a deduction as outlined.

Expenses you can claim

You will be able to claim a deduction for the additional running expenses you incur if you work from home,. These include:

      • electricity expenses associated with heating, cooling and lighting the area from which you are working and running items you are using for work
      • cleaning costs for a dedicated work area
      • phone and internet expenses
      • computer consumables (for example, printer paper and ink) and stationery
      • home office equipment, including computers, printers, phones, furniture and furnishings – you can claim either the:
        • full cost of items up to $300
        • decline in value for items over $300.

The  tracking of all of these expenses can be challenging so the ATO  will accept a temporary simplified method (or shortcut method) of calculating additional running expenses for the period starting 1 March 2020 until at least 30 June 2020. The ATO has also indicated they  may extend this method, depending on when work patterns start to return to normal (whatever that may be in the future).

Expenses you can’t claim

If you are working from home only due to COVID-19, you:

      • cannot claim occupancy expenses such as mortgage interest, rent and rates
      • cannot claim the cost of coffee, tea, milk and other general household items your employer may otherwise have provided you with at work.

Calculating running expenses

Additional Running Expenses can be claimed in 3 different methods:

      • shortcut method ─ claim a rate of 80 cents per work hour for all additional running expenses
      • fixed rate method ─ claim all of these:
        • a rate of 52 cents per work hour for heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and the decline in value of office furniture,
        • the work-related portion of your actual costs of phone and internet expenses, computer consumables, stationery, and
        • the work-related portion of the decline in value of a computer, laptop or similar device.
      • actual cost method ─ claim the actual work-related portion of all your running expenses, which you need to calculate on a reasonable basis.

For more information on how to calculate and claim a deduction under the actual cost method or fixed rate method see Employees Working Working From Home

Shortcut method

You can claim a deduction of 80 cents for each hour you work from home due to COVID-19 as long as you are:

      • working from home to fulfil your employment duties and not just carrying out minimal tasks such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls,
      • incurring additional deductible running expenses as a result of working from home.

You do not have to have a separate or dedicated area of your home set aside for working, such as a private study.

The shortcut method rate covers all deductible running expenses, including:

      • electricity for lighting, cooling or heating and running electronic items used for work (for example your computer), and gas heating expenses
      • the decline in value and repair of capital items, such as home office furniture and furnishings
      • cleaning expenses
      • your phone costs, including the decline in value of the handset
      • your internet costs
      • computer consumables, such as printer ink
      • stationery
      • the decline in value of a computer, laptop or similar device.

You do not have to incur all of these expenses, but you must have incurred additional expenses in some of those categories as a result of working from home due to COVID-19.

If you use the shortcut method to claim a deduction for your additional running expenses, you cannot claim a further deduction for any of the expenses listed above.

You must keep a record of the number of hours you have worked from home as a result of COVID-19. Examples are timesheets, diary notes or rosters.

If you use the shortcut method to claim a deduction and you lodge your 2019-20 tax return through myGov or a tax agent, you must include the note ‘COVID-hourly rate’ in your tax return.

Records you must keep

If you use the shortcut method, you only need to keep a record of the hours you worked at home, for example timesheets or diary notes.

If you use the other methods, you must also keep a record of the number of hours you worked from home along with records of your expenses. For more information on what those records are see Employees Working Working From Home.



Please feel free to share to any person you may think may benefit 😊

If you need any assistance, please get in contact with us at

 P 1300 854 159

As we are receiving information we are pushing the information to our clients in order that they are up-to-date.

The below we feel is very relevant to anyone who over the past few days has found they have been stood down, business owners who may have just or are anticipating or have of stood staff down and closing for the duration. Finally business owners themselves, who are now in a situation of no income through forced closure.

Following is an update from Services Australia from their Facebook page Services Aust regarding claims for the JobSeeker.this Facebook page is a very relevant to follow in these times

“Important update: If you’ve registered an intent to claim, we will contact you over the coming days to let you know what to do next. Your next steps will depend on your specific circumstances, so please wait for us to contact you. There’s no need to register more than one intent to claim, and no need to call or visit us.

  • If you register your intent to claim by Sunday 29 March, and you complete your full claim by 19 April, we’ll pay your claim from 23 March.
  • If you have lodged a full claim instead of registering an intent to claim, we will pay your claim from 23 March (or earlier if you claimed earlier), if you complete it before 29 March.
  • If you’ve lost income because of corona virus and you haven’t yet tried to access support, please go to our website for more information:

Our staff are working above and beyond to make sure people can access support as quickly as possible. Thank you for your continued patience.”

Please feel free to share to any person you may think may benefit 😊

If you need any assistance, please get in contact with us at

 P 1300 854 159





Wow! This week has been extraordinary since the initial announcement by the Government of the initial stimulus on March 12, added is the extra social distancing measures as well as the associated health actions and the suspension of the AFL competition, having a substantial impact on business in Australia.

 SMB Accounting will be working overtime to ensure that all our clients are supported. Whether it is discussing strategies to smooth cashflows, revising forecasts/budgets, looking at re-evaluating your costs structure.

For all we are concentrating a great deal of time working through the various state and federal stimulus/rescue packages to ensure a maximum support is provided. To this end we have over the weekend preparing a comprehensive Booklet which we have consolidated the known support from federal and state governments, banks, insurance companies and  energy companies which will be available for download from our website in the near future

Firstly here is a quick overview of the announcement yesterday (22nd March 2020)

 Support For Individuals including Sole Traders

The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Corona virus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550per fortnight.

This then being a total of $1,100 (including the Jobseeker payment)

This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months.

For the period of the Corona virus supplement, there will be expanded access to the income support payments listed above there is expanded access to Jobseeker Payment and the criteria will provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment; sole traders; the self-employed; casual workers; and contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the Corona virus. This could also include a person required to care for someone who is affected by the Corona virus.

 Eligible small business to receive up to $100,000

The previously announced $25k has been upsized now to maximum of $50k and will provide 100% of the PAYGW from March to June 2020 period. The second $50k is exactly the same, just to be claimed from July to October 2020 period.

They have also said that these payments will only be available to active eligible employers established prior to 12 March 2020.

Your turnover must be less than $50m to be eligible and you simply need to have employees for whom you withhold tax on wage payments.

Apprentices and Trainees

50% of the apprentice or trainee’s wage paid will be subsidised by the government during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020, up to $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee. It will be capped at $7,000 per quarter.

The business must have had the apprentice or trainee in training with a small business as of 1 March 2020 and is available for business employing less than 20 full-time employees.

You will be required to have an eligibility assessment undertaken by an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider.

Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020.

Here are links for additional information:

SME Lending Guarantee

The Scheme will commence by early April 2020 and be available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.

The federal government will provide a guarantee of 50% to SME lenders for new unsecured 3 year loans of up to $250k per borrower to be used for working capital and these loans will not require any repayments for 6 months.

Loans will be subject to lenders’ credit assessment processes with the expectation that lenders will look through the cycle to sensibly take into account the uncertainty of the current economic conditions

Other measures announced

 Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

  • Increase in the threshold for creditors to issue statutory demands from $2k to $20k for the next 6 months.
  • Increase in the threshold for initiating bankruptcy proceedings from $5k to $20k for the next 6 months.
  • Plus an increase in timeframe whereby you are required to respond to a bankruptcy notice or a statutory demand from 21 days to 6 months.
  • Directors will be temporarily relieved of their duty to prevent insolvent trading with respect to any debts incurred in the ordinary course of the company’s business. Egregious cases of dishonesty and fraud will still be subject to criminal penalties.

 Temporary early access to superannuation

Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020.

  • To apply you must satisfy on or more of the following:
    • You are unemployed; or
    • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or
    • if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.
  • No tax will be payable on these amounts
  • You can apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website:

As said above there is much more available and in place and this cannot be an exhaustive list as well as the continued fluid nature of the circumstances unfolding, and we will continue to monitor announcements etc as they happen


### Please note we have made every attempt  to confirm this information is correct and complete as of the moment  of publication ####


Please send an email if you have any questions


Below we have provided a briefing of the stimulus package which the government announced last week in response to the difficult times which are affecting all of us

As a business owner or employee of a business, you may/will confront the possibility of yourself or members of your team being isolated from the work environment, supply issues as well as a decrease in the demand for the services/goods over the coming 3-9 months.

Tax incentives for business investment

Increase in Instant asset write-off

From 12 March until 30 June 2020, for new or second-hand assets first used or installed ready for use, the instant asset write-off threshold will be increased from $30,000 to $150,000 for businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from the current $50 million threshold).The threshold applies on a per asset basis, so eligible businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets. The threshold will revert to $1,000 for small businesses (turnover less than $10 million) from 1 July 2020, however businesses not entitled to the instant asset write off from 1 July 2020 may be entitled to the 50% investment incentive as below.

Backing business investment incentive

The Government is introducing a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.
Businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million per annum will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset upon installation, provided it was acquired after 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021.

There is no asset value threshold for this 50% investment incentive. Existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.

Cash flow assistance for businesses

Increasing cash flow for employers

Up to a $25,000 tax-free payment to small and medium-sized businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million that employ workers, between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020.
These eligible businesses will receive a payment equal to 50% of their PAYG withheld, delivered as a credit in their BAS from March to June 2020, with a minimum $2,000 payment and up to a cap of $25,000.

Keeping apprentices and trainees employed

Eligible small business employers will be able to apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice’s or trainee’s (in training as at 1 March 2020) wage for up to 9 months from 1 January to 30 September 2020, up to $21,000 per apprentice. Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020 with final claims for payment due by 31 December 2020.

Non-tax measures

Stimulus payments

Social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders including pensioners will receive a one-off $750 payment will be available from 31 March 2020.
There will be one payment per eligible recipient.

Assistance for severely affected regions

The Government has set aside $1 billion to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.

ATO relief measures

On 12 March 2020, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced a series of administrative concessions to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19, which include:
• up to 4 months the payment deferral of tax amounts due through the BAS (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, FBT assessments and excise by affected businesses;
• allowing affected businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting to get quicker access to any GST refunds;
• allowing affected businesses to vary PAYG instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters;
• remitting any interest and penalties, incurred by affected businesses on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities; and
• allowing affected businesses to enter into low-interest payment plans for their existing and ongoing tax liabilities.
The ATO assistance is not automatic, taxpayers must first contact the ATO to request assistance, and if eligible, the ATO will ‘tailor the assistance package for the relevant taxpayer.

To know more about the application of these measures, please get in contact with us at or

P 1300 854 159.

Everyone has the right to claim tax deductions in Australia. A tradesperson can definitely claim deductions so you can maximise your tax refund. If you’ve just heard about this good news, lucky you! We know it’s tiring to comply with all those tax requirements but saving money should be your top priority. So, here are a couple of tax tips to help you maximise your tax deductions as a tradesperson.

1) Tools and equipment qualify as tax deductions.

How much have you spent on your tools and equipment? You’ve probably spent a lot of money for that. Don’t worry, using them for your business or for your job is good. What’s even greater is that you can use them as tax deductions depending on how you run your business or job. There are different ways to claim your tools and equipment.

  1. The first method is if you are running your business – If you have the receipts, you can claim tax deductions by using the cost of your tools and equipment you bought for less than $30,000. The tools should be bought after April 2, 2019. Previously, the cost limit is $25,000 between January 29, 2019, and April 2, 2019, and $20,000 before January 29, 2019.
  2. The second method is if you are a self-employed tradesperson – This means that you can directly deduct the cost from your taxable income. Since you bought all your tools and equipment, this is the best thing you can do to save money as long as you have the substantiation.
  3. Third, if you are an employed tradesperson – You can only claim tools costing $300 as tax deductions in the year they were purchased and for the full amount. If the tools are more than $300, you have to write it off over the tools useful life ie claim depreciation.

Note that tools and equipment qualify under this section. Your computers, phones, printers, and tablets can be used as tax deductions as long as they are being utilised for your business or job.

Equipment that you use for a proportion of personal purpose, the proportion of personal use is required to be deducted.

2) Vehicles as tax deductions

Yes, your vehicles can be used to maximise your tax deductions too! Just imagine spending a good amount of money for your ute or van. The cost may be prohibitive for some tradespersons but since you can claim it, no need to worry. If you use the vehicles for your business or job, here are the ways you can claim them.

  1. For tradespersons who are running a business – the same rule for tools and equipment applies. If your van/ute/car costs < $30,000, you can claim it 100% write off (less any personal use). However, if it’s more than the threshold, you have to write it off over its useful life.
  2. For those who work for someone else eg an employee – you can claim the depreciation of your vehicle as tax deductions. But, keep in mind that you need a logbook of your usage, whether personal or private so the ATO can distinguish how much you can deduct. Your logbook is used for all your Vehicle deductions eg work-related expenses attached to the vehicle such as fuel, maintenance, repair, and so on.

If you are on business travel, you can also claim your 68c/km allowance every time you travel up to a maximum of 5000km. Remember that the distance between your home and work can’t be deducted unless your employer requested for you to carry heavy tools that you can’t leave at work.

NB: Yes you receive an immediate write-off for a vehicle/equipment purchased under $30,000, but when you trade-in the vehicle the amount of the trade-in is taxable income as it is recouped depreciation.

3) Work-related clothing as tax refunds

Work-related clothing also qualifies as tax deduction. If you are wearing a uniform or protective clothing, which is very common for tradespersons, keep the receipts so you can deduct the costs.

Aside from the cost of them, you can also claim your laundry, dry-cleaning expenses and repairs.


Sounds interesting?

However, the ATO still evaluates the type of clothing being claimed. Some common types used by tradespersons as tax deductions:

  • Clothing that is made to survive work with dangerous conditions where normal clothing can’t be used.
  • Clothing that is designed to give protection like heavy-duty top and trousers. These types of clothing are unique from ordinary cotton drill trousers and shirts. Ordinary clothing cannot be used as uniforms.
  • Clothing that has a density of weave so to protect the worker from UV when the job is required to be done outside workplaces.
  • Protective clothing and footwear that give protection from injuries or illness.

Under this section, you can also claim fire-resistant clothes, gloves, hardhats, safety coloured vests, steel-capped boots, overalls, heavy-duty shirts and trousers, non-slip safety shoes, and required uniform with your company’s logo.

4) Laundry and dry cleaning of your uniforms and protective clothing.

Good news! You can now claim your laundry and dry-cleaning expenses for uniforms and protective clothing that qualify as tax deductions. If the total amount of your expenses reached $150 or less and your total work-related expenditures are $300 or less, no need for receipts. You can claim them right away.

If you are doing the laundry yourself, you need to keep this in mind: $1 per load claim if you are washing, drying, and ironing and $0.50 if there are other items other than uniforms and protective clothing.

5) Unusable items as tax claims

In addition to the above items, you can also claim any unusable, damaged, or obsolete items that are left on the site where you did your job as a business or as a tradesperson. You can write off the cost before the end of the year so you can maximise your tax deductions. Under this claim, you can deduct the cost of items that the customers did not pay for. Write off should be done by June 30.



To know more about claiming a tax deduction for any of your expenses, or for help filling out the paperwork, please get in contact with us at or P 1300 854 159.

Maximising tax deductions is every business’s/taxpayers’ goal. This is one way you can save from paying higher taxes than you need. But, let’s face it, this is one of the toughest things to do when you are running your own enterprise especially If you don’t know how the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) works.  So, is there any way you can avoid paying high taxes? Yes, there is! The greatest secret to counteracting this negative effect on your finances is to always keep your records. Your tax deductions will increase if you have more transactions with substantiation.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has thousands of personnel who do tax collections. One way you can prove that you don’t have to pay all the tax they impose is to give them documents that support your claims, thus increasing your refund. If you can’t give them enough evidence, the ATO will keep their hands in your pockets. Note that claiming tax deduction without evidence is a big move and the ATO gets serious about it.

Don’t let ATO take away the money you’re supposed to count as yours. Don’t lose $$$’s like other Australians out there who don’t claim their tax deductions. You can do better than that!

Develop a habit of record-keeping

So to Maximise your tax deductions, the first step is to develop a habit of great record-keeping. It’s easy, just simply update your records with your receipts from your old to new transactions. Do not miss out on a single receipt! You need them all to claim your deductions so you won’t have to pay higher tax than necessary.

Take note, apart from proving your tax deductions, record keeping will save you a lot at tax time! If you have claims that make it questionable by ATO, you can simply hand them your complete receipts and show them that you are 100% ready no matter what happened.

Did you know that you can also use your receipts as references to your other business needs? Let’s say you are trying to estimate your income and expenses. Without these receipts, you won’t make a good outline of them. They serve as your support in case you need financial advice in the future. Record keeping is not just about saving tax time. It also helps you manage the other sides of your enterprise.


The next question is, what type of transaction receipts do you need to keep?

Type of transactions you need for tax refund

When keeping your records, you need to make sure that you are keeping the records of both your income and expenses. In this section, you will be given a list of the items that you may never had thought would qualify as tax deductions. Many Australians are failing to keep records of them for the mere reason that they don’t know that they could actually be used as deductions.

Let’s start off with your income. You must keep the records of your salary, any investment that you have, the dividends you receive from your investments, your managed funds, your allowances, and your rental income from your rental properties.

Some of the good records you can keep are your statement of income or earnings from your employer, funds manager, and real estate agent. Don’t forget to contact them for this document!

Next, you need to break down all your expenses into different categories. These are lists of items that can qualify as tax deductions:


  • Work-related travel – parking fees, tolls, personal car costs, public transportation fees, airplane tickets, general travel expenses, taxi fares, accommodation, meals.
  • General expenses – tax agent fees, charity donations, income protection costs, mobile phone usage
  • General work-related expenses – gifts, union fees, professional fees, license fees
  • Education expense – course fees, textbook fees, accommodation, meals, and professional fees for libraries and work related to magazines
  • Equipment purchased or leased for work – computer supplies, calculators, electronic organizers, computers, laptops, iPad, phones, mobile accessories, software, briefcases, carry-on bags, safety equipment, tools for the trade, technical instruments.
  • Home office expense – desks, chairs, office furniture, home utility fees, postage, stationery
  • Clothing – protective clothing, laundry of uniforms and protective clothing, uniforms
  • Costs of newly bought assets, expenses on rental properties and other investments, transactions of assets sold, and expenses related to attendant care, disability aids, or aged care.


Keeping of tax receipts

ATO recommends that you keep your receipts for 5 years under the following circumstances:

  • You recently claimed tax deductions for depreciation – you need to keep the receipt for 5 years from the date of your last claim.
  • You acquired or sold an asset – you need to keep your support for 5 years until after capital gains tax (CGT) is no longer required. You will need this document to calculate your capital gain or loss.
  • You are disputing about certain transactions with the ATO – you need to keep the documentation for 5 years after the dispute has been completed.

The era of digital technology, most records can be kept electronically and therefore will be usually kept indefinitely

At least 2 years of safe record-keeping is needed for taxpayers who have simple tax transactions generally Salary Wage employees

How to develop a habit of record-keeping

1) Always get a receipt

Whenever you are buying something or doing a transaction that has taxes, you need to ensure that you get an equivalent receipt of the expense. Even without categorising the expense, you can assess later on if the expense can qualify as a tax deduction or not. Keep in mind that without a receipt, you can’t file for tax deduction.


2) Keep a copy of your receipts

Some receipts will fade and you will lose some in the process of record-keeping. What you need to do is to keep a picture or scanned copy of the receipts after getting them. A soft copy will help you preserve the information in that document.


3) Organise your receipts

If you can organise your receipts in a chronological manner (date order or expenses category eg petrol receipts), just do it. You can either arrange it from oldest to newest or from newest to oldest depending on your preference.


4) List down your deductions

List down all your expenses and sum them up. You will have to categorise them this time based on the list of deductibles above. Do this regularly so you won’t face big job at year end tax time.


To know more about claiming a tax deduction for any of your expenses, or for help filling out the paperwork, please get in contact with us at or P 1300 854 159.

This article explains to you the simple steps to take to catch up on outstanding tax returns or late tax returns. With the right assistance, you could be up to date with all your refunds within a month


1.   Find out how many years of tax returns are overdue

Best to contact your accountant and ask them to check your lodgement status. If you don’t have a current accountant send our office a message one of our accountants will be in contact to discuss as tax agents, we have more access to your tax records via the tax agent portal. This is a 2 minute job where we can look back to 2001 to see which returns are outstanding.


2.    You may not need to lodge a return at all!

You need to lodge either a tax return or in many circumstances a non-lodgement advice as long as certain conditions are met eg your income was less than the tax free threshold and you had paid no tax.

Again your accountant can advise you on whether any conditions apply to your circumstances


3.    Get all your paperwork together

This is the most overwhelming step for most, and this is where we can assist as accountants by providing your ATO prefilling report. This is a report where the ATO collects information from various sources by matching up your Tax File Number.

Prefilling reports are available from 2007 onwards, however you will still need to collect your receipts if you wanted to claim any deductions. Just remember though, some deductions are available without substantiation which your accountant can assist you with


4.    Complete your returns

An accountant can prepare the returns for you as our software backdates to the year 2000, if not further beforehand. Otherwise you would have to manually lodge prior years and this can take a lot longer to finalise.


Your refunds could be back in your bank within 2 weeks!


If you are a business,  have outstanding returns and financial statements to prepare and you are avoiding due to the cost of getting them done, we will allow that cost to be paid over a 12 month period!

Contact SMB Accounting now! Phone 0437 726 731 or