Wood Accounting

Tax Time 2020

tax time 2020

2020 was a year to remember. A pretty bumpy ride for many of us. I am sure everyone of us has been affected in some way and that our lives will be forever changed going forward.

Drought, bush fires, floods, COVID-19 and all the restrictions have affected many people’s jobs and income in 2020. Some people’s tax returns may be a little different this year. We are here to help you get your tax return right the first time and avoid the attention of ATO.

This year we looking to be as flexible as possible to account for your needs. We are taking appointments face to face but we are encouraging clients to work with us remotely via Zoom or phone. Many of our clients already do this.

Use our checklist to gather your tax documents together and share with us via email or Dropbox. We come back to you with a final draft and any queries we may have.

If you would like to book in an appointment, Face to Face or via Zoom, you can choose a time via this link.

We are already fielding may questions around tax lodgement this year. Here are our top queries.

Our Top 8 Questions for tax time 2020


HOW FAST CAN I GET MY REFUND? 

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are not processing tax returns until mid-July. Employers have until the END OF JULY to finalise your pay and submit an INCOME STATEMENT to ATO. We can’t lodge without this info. 

OUR TIP: Hold your horses

We are asking clients to wait until August to lodge. This is to ensure we have ALL information needed before lodging. This will minimise the chance of mistakes.

We need these items to preload with ATO before we can lodge with confidence: 

  1. Income Statement from your employer
  2. Interest earnings 
  3. Centrelink Income – Jobseeker, NewStart, Youth Allowance etc 
  4. Dividends 
  5. MANAGED FUNDS -these take ages! Best wait until November
  6. Employee Share Schemes 
  7. Private Health statements 

WHERE CAN I GET MY INCOME STATEMENT = PAYMENT SUMMARY = GROUP CERTIFICATE? 

Now with Single Touch Payroll (STP) your employer will push your end of year INCOME STATEMENT directly to ATO.  You will not get a pdf or paper copy. How do you get it? Your tax agent or myTax will have it by 31st July.

  1. We can access this via our ATO Portal 
  2. YOU can access yours via MyGov but you don’t NEED to.
ATO video explaining your Income Statement

ARE JOBKEEPER and JOBSEEKER INCOME?

YES THEY ARE 

  1. JobKeeper – will be part of your salary or wages if you are an employee. This will be included in your Income Statement from your employer. Business Participants such as Sole Traders, Partnerships, Companies and Trusts, will need to report JobKeeper as business income. 
  1. JobSeeker – This is also taxable income Centrelink will report this income to ATO. You will need to wait until the end of July for this to come through via ATO.

WHAT DEDUCTIONS CAN I CLAIM? 

ATO have 3 golden rules to determine if you can claim a deduction:

  1. you must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
  2. it must directly relate to earning your income
  3. you must have a record to prove it.

REMEMBER: If your expense was for both work and private purposes you can only claim for the work related portion. With our help you can get it right the first time and avoid further attention from ATO.

Want to know what deductions apply to your specific industry or occupation?

  • Teachers,
  • Professional Sportspeople,
  • Office Workers,
  • Police,
  • Defence Force Members
  • and everyone in between: ATO Occupation Guides Here

Did you make DONATIONS during FY2020?

There were more causes to donate to that ever in 2020. Drought Relief and Bush Fire Appeals (thanks Celeste Barber) along with the usual friend and family cancer causes and the like.

The best way to find most of your donation receipts is to search your email. Donations to registered charities over $2 are tax deductible as long as you did not receive anything in return such as raffle tickets, gifts, toys etc.

Claiming these as a deduction means that the Govt gives you back your marginal tax rate. So a $100 donation made by someone in the 34% tax bracket means ATO pay $34 and you are really only out of pocket $66. A good reason to give more.

You can check if a charity is registered here at The DGR Register. Donations to overseas charities may not qualify unless they have DGR status in Australia.


HOW DO I CALCULATE A DEDUCTION FOR WORKING FROM HOME (WFH)?

You have 2 options when claiming a work from home deduction. COVID-19 has added a 3rd option during the period 1 March to 30 June 2020.

  1. Actual Cost Method – Must have a dedicated office – you can claim the business use % of all work related expenses such as power, internet, furniture depreciation, computer consumables etc
  2. Fixed Rate Method52c per hour + work % of internet and phone. Must have a dedicated office. This is a popular method as it is easier.
  3. Short Cut Method – 80c per hour – No dedicated office required. Only applies from 1 March to 30 June 2020. 80c per hour covers all costs including internet. Multiple people in the same household can claim all claim the 80c/hr.

WHAT ABOUT RENTAL PROPERTIES?

 Income and expenses must be reported for ALL properties rented out including those on AirBNB and other sharing platforms. International properties must also be reported.

You may have given tenants rental relief during bush fires or COVID. You may have received repayment holidays from your bank. Report the rent actually received and the interest accrued even if you had a repayment holiday. 


WHEN IS MY TAX DUE?

If you do it yourself – 31st October.

If you use a Tax Agent – 15th May 2021. There are some exceptions. Mainly if your last tax return was a payable of over $20,000. These ones are due by 31 March 2020.


Any queries let us know via Facebook Messenger, email or phone.

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