Preparation the key as end of financial year approaches

THE end of the financial year is almost here, bringing with it group certificates, buckets of receipts and lengthy paperwork.

But Ulton chartered accountant Jodie Hill said if people were prepared they had nothing to worry about.

"I think a lot of people are scared of what will happen if they get it wrong," she said.

"There's a lot involved and a lot to know, and many people prefer an accountant to do it."

Ms Hill said while business owners should be in touch with their accountants several times a year, individuals didn't have a lot to do except to complete and file their end of financial year tax.

Earlier this week Ms Hill underwent training for the most recent changes to the tax system.

"There are a lot of extra boxes this year that we have to fill in…they may not be all relevant but they are all there," she said.

"You also have a longer deadline if you do your tax through a tax agent rather than doing it yourself."

She said there were always people keen to test the system.

"I did have somebody try to claim their divorce and one woman even tried to claim her boob job," she said.

"Unfortunately it wasn't work related."

Preparation helps reduce stress at tax time

ANYONE can do their tax online, but Kale Jackson believes he gets a better deal by handing it over to the

TAX ADVICE: Gladstone worker Kale Jackson prefers to organise his work expenses before tax time.
TAX ADVICE: Gladstone worker Kale Jackson prefers to organise his work expenses before tax time. Mara Pattison-Sowden

professionals.

He's had an accountant looking after his tax since turning 18, but after two years found he could get a better deal from his current accountant.

"The difference in what the first and second accountant could get me in returns was huge," he said.

The 26-year-old has had a range of jobs from cabinet making to contracting and even traffic control.

He flies down to see his accountant in Brisbane every year "because I prefer to stick with who I know".

Mr Jackson said he left the details of his tax return to a professional, but being organised during the year helped reduce the stress around tax time.

"I keep everything I pay for," he said. "I look at it monthly and itemise the receipts into work and private."

Helpful hints:

  • Outdoor workers can claim items such as sunscreen, hats and sunglasses
  • People who use their phone or vehicle for work should keep a log book and receipts
  • All receipts should be kept for five years in case of an ATO audit
  • The deadline for DIY tax is October 31. Tax returns can be done through agents until May 15, 2014