how to prepare a personal tax return - tax checklist

How to prepare a personal tax return: Tax planning checklist

It’s incredible to think that we’re already edging on the half-way point of 2020. And while many Australians might be thinking of June as half-way to Christmas or half-way to a potential holiday, our team are getting excited about the prospect of tax time.

As tax specialists, we often get asked questions like, ‘what do I need for my tax return?’ and ‘what can I claim on tax?’ 

Even if you’ve been lodging a return for years, understanding your obligations and entitlements as a taxpayer can be really confusing. 

To help clear things up and get everything in order well in advance of June 30, have a read of our simple tips on how to prepare a personal tax return and learn what we can do to help you maximise your refund.


How to prepare a personal tax return: 

Gathering your income paperwork

Paperwork is arguably the most important and most time-consuming aspect of preparing your income tax return. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all to the specific documents you’ll need to lodge your claim. However, there are a few general inclusions that most individuals will need to have access to. Some of these include:

  • Payment summaries from all employers
  • Details of asset sales or purchases
  • Health insurance details
  • Proof of additional income 

For a more extensive list of paperwork to prepare, check out our downloadable tax checklist.


What can you claim on your personal tax return?

Understanding your deductions

Deductions are another critical part of preparing your personal tax return. As taxpayers, we all want to maximise our tax refunds and accessing eligible deductions is the best way to make it happen. 

Deductions span a wide range of expenses incurred through earning your income and include everything from uniforms and workwear to home office expenses, income protection insurance and personal development. 

Of course, the list of possible deductions is highly expansive to cover all occupations and personal circumstances. If you’re not sure of all your eligible deductions, get in touch with our experienced team of tax specialists who can help you uncover everything you’re entitled to claim.  

Working from home due to COVID-19? Learn more about possible home office deductions in our article on work from home expenses or head to the ATO’s home office expenses resource.

Maximising your personal tax return

Tax agent vs self-lodgement

Another big consideration around tax time is whether you’ll partner with a tax agent to complete your tax return or whether you’ll go it alone. 

While acquiring tax services through an agent will incur a fee, the majority of Australian income earners opt for this service to save time and stress. Using a tax professional for your tax return will also, in most instances, attract a greater refund. 

As specialists in the field, tax agents understand all elements of preparing a tax return and have extensive experience helping individuals to get the most out of their claims. It’s what we do for a living, and we do it really well.

If you’re looking to boost your tax return this year, book a virtual tax appointment with our tax team and find out exactly what you’re eligible to claim.

Make tax planning simple with our tax planning checklist for individuals

To help make the process of planning and lodging your tax return simple, we’ve created this handy tax checklist for individuals. Download it, use it as a guide and have it handy at your tax appointment to help us keep track of everything you’re including in your return.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Enter your details below to receive regular updates and special offers

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.