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Australian Tax System:

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by termis, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. So, just trying to figure out the Australian tax system out. If any of you are experts on the matter, I'd appreciate it if you can clarify some of these points.

    So here's how I understand it so far. Please correct me if I'm mistaken anywhere.
    - The tax year runs from the beginning of July to end of June the year after.
    - Your first ~$6000 (or so) of income is tax free.
    - Beyond that amount, you can start adding tax deductible items such as education, public transit, etc to lower your total taxable income.

    So at this point, here are some things where I'm still unclear.
    1. After the tax year is over, how long do you have to file your taxes? (for any adjustments)
    2. For lowering your tax income, is there a certain "minimum" of taxable deductions that you need to see any real benefits? (I ask because it's like this in the U.S., where one can get a "standard tax deduction" of ~$4500, so if your total amount of your deductions is below that, you just take that standard deduction)
    3. What are some of the more typical deductions that an average Joe, with just a regular salary income, and no kids, would take?
  2. Well, your first problem is the first line!

  3. Correct


    Deadline is October 31

    There is no minimum amount

    Sunglasses, suncream, any safety gear for work, I think you can claim (or at least depreciate) laptops (cos you use that for work, right? :wink: ) and the biggy for alot of people is (assuming you have a car) claiming cost per km for 'work related stuff'.


    You can claim 5000km without any proof whatsoever.

  4. If you're not a business then 31 October is it. If you miss that, you can always do it next year.

    $300 is it here. You need evidence if you claim any more than that. If you have things like professional memberships that your employer doesn't pick up for you then you can claim that. Just that alone sees me clear the $300.

    Essentially, its SFA for the average person on a PAYG income. Check the deductions section of the tax pack. The common things are listed there together with the things you can't claim for (which some accountants still do if they do your tax for you and you're the one who gets hammered with penalties and fines, not the accountant, if/when you get audited).
  5. i got fined $150 years ago for $4.36 in undeclared interest. weee....
  6. Are you sure about that? I have it on good advice (i.e. this person is two steps down from the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation) that proof for everything can still be asked for when you're audited, even in the "you don't need proof/records" sections.

    Termis, do it legitimately and if you use a tax agent / accountant, be sure they will do the legal/correct thing because you are the one who signs to say it is all correct - not them - so you are the one who gets in trouble if something is wrong. Some accountants are "creative" and get their clients larger tax deductions than what they should get. When the system catches up with them then fines, penalties and interest makes it far from worthwhile. If you do it yourself, as a lot of people can, then keep records just in case you need them.
  7. Are you being paid by an australian employer into an australian account, or by your american employer into an american account - because if it's the latter, you'll need to file a US tax return, and not an aussie one

    http://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/ - Australian Tax Office Site

    the side bar menu "Work out your Tax" is a good starting point, see how you go with that. Also, may be easier to do it through a tax agent, they can usually make sure you get a few extra deductions here and there... :wink: [/quote]
  8. I did too 6 years ago. I accidentally didn't take full care and got hit with the small fine and got a warning that next time there'll be much higher penalties to pay.
  10. Taken from the ATO website:

    It seems like we can go the 5,000 km claim without written evidence if it isn't a vehicle with carrying capacity of 1 tonne or more or a motorbike. Here's the link.
  11. With the 5000 km rule.

    Does this apply even if you don't have a reason to claim this?
  12. Pay the tax office as little as possible...........why give them more money to pee against the wall!!! :)
  13. You have to be able to justify it. Thats why my boss writes a letter stating I use my car for work purposes :grin:
  14. Thanks for all the good replies folks -- This puts me on a good starting point. I'll have some time to fine-tune the details by the time I need to file.
  15. Actually this isn't strictly true. This is only the case if you are lodging your own tax return. If you are having your tax done by a registered tax agent (ie accountant) then you have until the end of the (following) financial year - ie for this year's coming tax return, you'd have until June 30 next year.
  16. No, just means you need to be able to reasonably show that you would have actually done those km's.

    ie - "I have 2 meetings a week for job x and that is approx. 3000km, I also have 1 meeting a week for job y and that is approx. 3000km.

    I can't be arsed logging all the km's so I just claim 5000 under this option - you can keep the other 1000km worth ATO"

    You do not have to produce records in terms of logs etc as you do with the other methods of claiming.


    PS - the easiest way to do your own tax return is to download the ATO eTax programme (available for download from July 1) - this actually goes into lots of detail on the deductions and leads you through all the calculations etc. They do not try to 'hide' possible deductions from you.
  17. you can onli claim 'work related travel'...not actuallly getting tooo work.