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Tax tips and deductions to help you get a better tax refund

Tax Time - Australia - wooden letters with tax form, magnifying glass, money and calculator Source: Getty Images

In Australia, every income earner needs to file a tax return – be it individuals, families, workers, business owners and even international students. Here are some expert tips that may help guide your tax planning strategy.

Are still lagging behind to file your tax return this year? Do you want to know how you can maximise your tax refunds?

SBS Punjabi spoke to a tax expert who has been working in this field for over 12 years.

Parampreet Singh Rajput, a registered tax agent based in Melbourne, provided some key tips on how to get a tax refund in the best and most time-sensitive manner.

“Taxpayers should plan ahead. Having a tax plan in place before tax time will enable you to make strategic decisions to get a better tax refund,” he said.

According to Mr Rajput, one of the easiest ways to boost your tax return is by claiming work-related expenses.

“There are a whole range of things that you may claim back. Generally, they are work-related expenses and within this, you may also include the money you spent on self-education and career development,” he added. 

"International students and low-income earners should also file their tax returns to get potential paybacks."

Mr Rajput also spoke about the changes that came into effect as we entered a new financial year on 1 July 2019.

Here is a list of things that he discussed in this audio report:

1) Small businesses are entitled to a range of tax concessions at tax time. One of these is the instant asset write-off, which allows eligible small businesses to claim an immediate deduction for the business portion of assets that cost under a certain threshold. But you should check if you are eligible.

2) If you are an employee, you can claim your work-related deductions such as work-related phone expenses, internet usage, computer repairs, union fees, professional subscriptions and work-related study material.

3) Don't claim any expenditure in full unless you have already spent the money.

4) Don't claim private expenses as business expenses.

5) You must report all of your income.

6)  You must keep the relevant records to prove your claims.

7) Being an investor, you cannot claim expenses for assets that were already in the property at the time of purchase.

8) As an investor, you can’t claim any deductions for the costs of buying your property. These include conveyancing fees and stamp duty.

9) If you are a student and if you’ve had tax withheld from your salary or interest and your taxable income is below the tax-free threshold, you must lodge a return in order to get those amounts refunded back to you.

10) As a student, you can set up your myGov account to access government services and get your income statement and superannuation information from your employer.

11) You can claim donations which are not already in the pre-filled information.

For a full list of tips, please listen to the above mentioned audio conversation.

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