7 Mistakes Often Made At EOFY You Can Rectify

Posted on 20 June '24 by , under tax.

Finding yourself increasingly more busy as the EOFY approaches, particularly with meeting your tax obligations? It’s coming on tax time, so it’s time to ensure you’re prepared for your tax returns.

This period can be stressful and complicated, leading to common mistakes that can result in financial penalties or missed opportunities for tax savings.

Here’s a guide on avoiding common EOFY tax mistakes to ensure a smooth and efficient tax lodgement.

1. Errors in Claiming Deductions

Mistake: Many taxpayers either overclaim or underclaim deductions, which can lead to audits or missing out on tax savings.

Solution:

  • Understand What You Can Claim: Familiarize yourself with deductible expenses related to work, such as home office expenses, work-related travel, and self-education costs. Use the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website as a resource.
  • Keep Accurate Records: Maintain detailed and accurate records of all deductible expenses throughout the year. Use apps or digital tools to track receipts and expenses.
  • Avoid Personal Expenses: Ensure that personal expenses are not claimed as work-related deductions. Mixing these can lead to disallowed claims and potential penalties.

2. Incorrect Reporting of Income

Mistake: Failing to report all sources of income, including side gigs, investments, or rental income, can lead to discrepancies and potential audits.

Solution:

  • Comprehensive Income Tracking: Track all income sources, including salaries, freelance work, investments, and rental income. Use a financial management tool to consolidate this information.
  • Cross-Check Statements: Compare your records with the income statements provided by employers, banks, and investment platforms to ensure accuracy.
  • Report All Income: Even small amounts of income must be reported. The ATO cross-checks data with other financial institutions, so transparency is crucial.

3. Missing Deadlines

Mistake: Missing the tax return filing deadline can result in penalties and interest charges.

Solution:

  • Mark Your Calendar: Set reminders for key dates, including the 30 June EOFY and the 31 October tax return deadline for individuals.
  • Early Preparation: Start gathering necessary documents and information early. Don’t wait until the last minute to file your return.
  • Use Online Lodgement: Utilize the ATO’s myTax platform for online lodgement, which is efficient and provides guidance throughout the process.

4. Incomplete or Inaccurate Documentation

Mistake: Submitting incomplete or inaccurate documentation can delay your return processing and potentially trigger an audit.

Solution:

  • Create a Checklist: Make a checklist of all necessary documents, including income statements, receipts, and records of deductions.
  • Review Before Submission: Double-check all information for accuracy before submitting your return. Ensure all figures match your records and are correctly entered.
  • Seek Professional Help: If you’re unsure about the documentation, consider consulting a tax professional to review your return before submission.

5. Overlooking Superannuation Contributions

Mistake: Neglecting to make superannuation contributions or misunderstanding the rules can lead to missed tax benefits.

Solution:

  • Maximise Contributions: Understand the contribution limits for concessional and non-concessional contributions and make additional contributions before the EOFY if financially viable.
  • Keep Records: Maintain records of all contributions to avoid exceeding the caps, which can result in excess contribution taxes.
  • Super Co-contribution: Check eligibility for the government co-contribution and ensure you meet the criteria to receive this benefit.

6. Ignoring Tax Offsets and Rebates

Mistake: Not claiming eligible tax offsets and rebates can lead to higher tax liabilities than necessary.

Solution:

  • Research Eligibility: Review available tax offsets and rebates such as the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO) and the private health insurance rebate.
  • Claim Correctly: Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and claim these offsets correctly on your tax return.

7. Failing to Review Past Returns

Mistake: Overlooking errors or missed claims from previous years can result in lost refunds or uncorrected mistakes.

Solution:

  • Amend Past Returns: Review past tax returns for any missed deductions or errors. The ATO allows amendments to previous returns within a certain period.
  • Carry Forward Losses: Ensure you properly carry forward any capital or business losses to offset future gains.

Avoiding common EOFY tax mistakes requires careful preparation, accurate record-keeping, and timely action.

By understanding deductible expenses, accurately reporting all income, meeting deadlines, maintaining comprehensive documentation, maximising superannuation contributions, claiming eligible offsets, and reviewing past returns, you can ensure a smoother, more efficient tax filing process.

If in doubt, consulting with a tax professional like us can provide peace of mind and help optimise your tax situation.