Tax Returns

Do I need to lodge a tax return in 2012?

The 2012 Federal Budget saw in the largest number of tax changes since the GST was introduced in 2000, with the tax-free threshold tripling to $18,200 a year and adjustments to nearly every marginal tax rate.

Even if you are anticipating a reduced tax bill in 2013, it is still recommended that you lodge your tax return on or before October 31 to avoid being hit with a GIC (General Interest Charge) late lodgement penalty.  You can usually get more time to lodge if you register with a tax agent.  Easy Tax can help you with this.

Middle and higher income earners also risk paying more as a result of cuts to the private health insurance tax rebate, and changes to the Medicare levy surcharge. The levy only applies to families and individuals who do not have private hospital cover.

Whether an employee, contractor or business owner, you will need to file a tax return if any of the following applied during 2011/12:

  • You earned a salary or wages and paid tax through the pay as you go (PAYG) system.
  • You ran a business and made a loss, and/or can claim a loss made in a previous year.
  • Your income (from any source) exceeded $6000, you were not eligible for the senior Australians tax offset, and you did not receive a government allowance such as Austudy.
  • You received income from dividends or distributions exceeding $6,000 with franking credits attached.
  • You are an Australian living overseas and earned rental income from property in Australia, or from other assets subject to capital gains tax (CGT).

 

Tax returns for businesses

While most small and medium enterprises won’t need to pay the carbon tax directly, it is still expected to impact many businesses and is a good reason to focus on getting the most out of your tax return. Some tips for a better return include:

  • Keep good quality records

Record business income and expenses in a cash book, preferably with accounting software such as MYOB, Quickbooks or cloud accounting software such as Xero if you are dealing with frequent complex transactions.

  • Maintain records for every employee and pay period

These include salary payment summaries and reportable FBT; most can be calculated automatically using bookkeeping software. Periodic records should include GST obligations, PAYG tax withholding, and employee superannuation.

  • Avoid late lodgement

The tax return due date is October 31if you are not registered with a tax agent or were late in the last year you lodged. Businesses should also be aware of other lodgement program dates, such as for quarterly activity statements.

  • Get the help of a tax expert

Even if you are keeping all your records in order, you will still want to know all your entitlements before lodging your tax return, whilst still meeting all your tax obligations.

As well as helping you identify rebates and benefits you might have otherwise missed, a qualified tax accountant can help you structure and plan your tax to reduce your overall tax burden and achieve the maximum possible refund.

Whether you’re a sole trader, running a company, a tradesman builder, a medical professional or a home investor… at Easy Tax we have more than 20 years of experience helping people just like you achieve the best possible results with their tax returns – so you can hold on to more of your hard earned money and enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.

 

Take advantage of our small business accounting services during which we will help you to refine your needs and consider an accounting and tax planning solution for your business going forward… make an online enquiry today or call us on +61 2 9419 5322and let us help you solve your accounting or tax problems.

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