Ten tips for end of financial year

Is it that time of year already? The end of financial year is fast approaching and that means getting all your paperwork ready for your 2014-2015 tax return.

Five tax deductions you might not be aware of

You’re probably well aware you can claim a tax deduction for general work-related expenses. But did you know you may be able to claim if:

  1. You undertake a course or study. You may be able to claim a portion of self-education expenses if it’s related to your ability to earn an income.
  2. You travel to inspect your investment property. You may be able to claim for expenses like pest control fees, body corporate, rates, utility bills, advertising and marketing costs.
  3. You belong to a union. You may be able to claim your union fees as a deduction. 
  4. You wear a uniform for work. You may be able to claim for buying and cleaning a uniform that you need to wear for work.
  5. You work from home. You may be able to claim for running costs such as heating, cooling, lighting and cleaning, and even interest on any loans for work equipment, like a home computer. But you must keep detailed records—check out the ATO’s guide to home office expenses.

Working out your tax deductions can be complex. Your tax accountant can help you work out what you can and cannot claim.

Five ways to boost your super at tax time

There are plenty of ways to benefit from super’s favourable tax treatment, regardless of how much you earn and how old you are.

  1. You can claim up to $500 in government co-contributions if you’re a low to middle income earner and you make after-tax contributions of up to $1,000 to your super.
  2. You can receive a tax offset of up to $540 if your spouse is a low income earner and you contribute up to $3,000 in after-tax contributions towards their super. 
  3. You can contribute up to $30,000 in before-tax contributions to your super at the ‘concessional’ tax rate of 15%1 —or $35,000 if you’re aged 50 or over.
  4. You can contribute up to $180,000 a year (or $540,000 over three years) in after tax-contributions. Since this is from your after-tax income the full contribution reaches your super account, and no tax is deducted when the contribution reaches your super fund.
  5. You can start a transition to retirement strategy once you’ve reached your super preservation age (the age at which you can access your super)—this can allow you to draw up to 10% of your super as a pension.

Learn even more about boosting your super with extra super contributions.

So as the end of financial year approaches, now’s the time to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the tax benefits of investing in super. Your financial adviser can help you with strategies to make your money work harder.

1 Or 30% tax if you earn more than $300,000 pa.

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.