Maximize Tax Refund and How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Income Tax Return

Many Australians have filed their income tax returns early this year. ATO statistics show that there are over 740,000 online lodgements up to now, compared to 640,000 from the same time last financial year.

Due to a large number of lodgements, and the early release of super, and jobkeeper applications, the ATO‘s online system crashed on the first day of the financial year.

Over 1.7 million individual income tax returns were lodged during the first two weeks of the financial year; this represents a 12% jump from the same period in the last fiscal year. Ms. Karen Foat, the assistant commissioner of ATO, has stated that over $1 billion has gone into the taxpayer’s pocket, and most people have seen a massive refund averaging $2,365. The large tax refund might go toward the individual’s living expenses to help them during this challenging time.

According to the Australian Bureau Of Statistics, there are over 990,000 unemployed Australians, so the large tax refund will hopefully provide some assistance in this challenging environment.

It’s important to note that normally, the electronically lodged tax return will be processed within two weeks. The ATO will perform data matching and check the tax return to ensure there are no mistakes.

Common Mistakes:

1. Some people duplicated the 80 cents per hour working from home office expense with the existing 52 cents fixed rate working from home office expense for the same period of March to June 2020. According to the ATO, if you used one method of 80 cents per hour, you cannot use the other one. If you are claiming the 80 cents per hour working from home office expense, you cannot also double-dip by claiming depreciation expense from that expensive written-off asset. If you believe you have made a mistake, please come and talk to us. As the leading tax return specialists in Sydney and Adelaide, we will work with you to correct the error before the ATO conducts an audit.

2. During the COVID-19 period, some employees or most employees were forced to work from home. Hence, if you are working from home and cannot go and see clients or travel from one worksite to another, it is not feasible to claim travel expenses or car expenses. The ATO noticed that some people are copying and pasting prior deductions into this year’s deduction, without factoring in the changing circumstances.

3. Some businesspeople did not include the $10,000 NSW Government grant and Jobkeeper Grant as part of their assessable income. It’s important to note that these two government grants are considered assessable income. However, they do not have GST implications (i.e., they do not include a GST component). The cash flow booster that the ATO announced for many small business people is not considered assessable income.

Consult Tax Experts

If you have lodged the tax returns, but received a letter from the ATO asking about those mistakes, please contact us. As the leading tax return specialist in Sydney and Adelaide, we will be able to help you maximize your tax refund, especially if you have not lodged the tax return.