Tips for maximising your tax return

THE main reason to see an accountant when lodging your tax return is obvious, according to Ben Ellingsen of Ellingsen Partners.

"The Tax Act is so complex, you run the risk of missing out on legitimate deductions if you do it yourself," he said.

So what do you need to take to the accountant to maximise your return?

Firstly, if you have never been to an accountant before, take your previous tax return, if you have one. You will also need to provide personal identification documents, and your tax file number.

Secondly, you will need to provide the originals of any income source documents. These include group certificates, dividend statements, rental income statements and evidence of any other sources of income like bank interest etc.

Lastly, you need evidence of deductible expenditure. You must produce receipts if your deductions will total more than $300, and the types of things you can claim are expenditure on travel, uniforms (including laundering), costs when working/living away from home, and repairs or maintenance to rental properties you own.

With any expenses, you will need to provide evidence, so it is always a good idea to keep receipts for any work-related expenditure that comes directly from your pocket.

And another expense that you can also claim, is your visit to the accountant to have your tax return calculated… although you won't be able to claim that back until the next financial year.