Author Topic: Australian Tax Return 2014 - ideas to reduce tax?  (Read 2905 times)

Anatidae V

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7638
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Fourecks
  • Nullus Anxietas
Australian Tax Return 2014 - ideas to reduce tax?
« on: July 11, 2014, 06:58:40 AM »
OK, so I just did my tax return on etax and it said I owe $50 to the tax department. This is awesome, as it means I earnt more money than I thought I did last year and my employer made a damn good job at guessing and adjusting my PAYG accordingly. However, I'd rather get a little back than pay them a little, so any ideas for things I can do to reduce my tax?

Some notes:
  • I earnt $67k, plus a few hundred from bank interest
  • I currently have no deductions. I couldn't think of any, and my normal one (Engineer's Australia membership) I haven't paid yet (oops.)
  • My partner did 3 units during the second semester of 2013 - does this make him a student for tax purposes, and does that mean I can claim any kind of handy tax break for supporting him?
  • We were both covered by private health insurance, and it says I can claim his rebate thingy, but I'm pretty sure what we paid already had the rebate taken out, so to do this would be pointless as far as I'm aware

My tax is pretty straightforward, but if anyone comes up with anything, that would be great.

lolzmonster

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: Perth, Western Australia
Re: Australian Tax Return 2014 - ideas to reduce tax?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 11:26:43 AM »
Hi Anatidaev,

1. Did you spend any money on compulsory work equipment? (specific to your field of work) Otherwise maybe you could find something there :)?
2. Did you earn any Dividends that gave franking credits? maybe theres something there.
3. This one probably doesn't apply, but are you supporting any anyone over 50 years of age or a child?

*  In regards to your partner.. I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think you can claim the deduction for him. But rather he would claim it when he files his own.
*  I'm pretty sure that it already counts your private health insurance since you would have keyed in the details for it

Nothing really concrete there, but hehe you never know

LonerMatt

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1209
Re: Australian Tax Return 2014 - ideas to reduce tax?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 04:47:31 PM »
1. Deducting home expenses that are relevant for work (% of phone, internet bills are things I use - as I'm expected to have a phone at work, and am expected to be able to communicate with work from home via internet)

2. Equipment that you used at work (sunscreen, sunglasses, umbrella I use on Yard Duty)

3. Deducting new purchases that were partially used at work (computer, etc, usually a %)


Nudelkopf

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 900
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Australia
Re: Australian Tax Return 2014 - ideas to reduce tax?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 05:27:32 PM »
Stationery? Books related to your field of work? Sunscreen? 'Home office' expenses? Travel to your stock broker (if you have one)? Work related travel?

stripey

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 768
  • Age: 121
  • Location: Australia
Re: Australian Tax Return 2014 - ideas to reduce tax?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 05:51:12 PM »
I don't really think you can claim anything for SO's study. That's for his tax return.

What about donations that are tax deductible?  Like the red shield appeal or something?

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7294
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Australian Tax Return 2014 - ideas to reduce tax?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2014, 06:22:46 PM »


What about donations that are tax deductible?  Like the red shield appeal or something?

Yup donations would be my suggestion. Etax once spat out a tax bill for me of 25c. I remembered I had a $10 donation for "jeans for genes" and it changed the final number to a $3 refund.

Murdoch

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Location: QLD, Australia
Re: Australian Tax Return 2014 - ideas to reduce tax?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 07:36:35 AM »
Anatidaev,
I don't have any advice for this past financial year, but for the coming year, there are plenty of things to put into place now to reduce your tax bill next year.

1. Start salary sacrificing to your superannuation. Anything up to $25K (including employer contributions) will reduce your tax bill directly. Note that you HECS is taken from your gross pay, not your taxable pay, so you will need to keep extra aside for the small difference in HECS you will owe.

2. If you work offers it, you can salaray sacrifice other items to reduce your tax. Government jobs often offer up to 9K per year for things like rent, electricity etc... All work places are different, but know what you can access, and start the ball rollling early.

3. Start a folder for work related expenses. Things like your use of a phone for work (must be documented), so get your bills filed each month so you can highlight work related stuff. Car expenses depending on whether you have to drive from site to site once at work (too and from work don't count, but travelling whilst on the clock for work purposes does count). Again you will need a log book (free from most accountants).

4. Document all donations. These are tax deductable, and whilst it shouldn't be the reason you donate, it is nice to know the government at least supports this and gives you a tax break on anything you do donate.

These are probably things you already knew, but just thought they were worth mentioning.

Cheers
Murdoch