30 June is approaching! Do you want to minimise your tax?
With the end of the financial year only weeks away, it’s a perfect time to review your situation, take advantage of any opportunities and ensure that your financial situation is maximised.
Any successful tax planning strategy centres around three themes:
1. reducing income,
2. increasing deductions and
3. utilisation of the lower tax rates available.
Before any taxation planning it is important to calculate your projected taxation position for the year as, in some cases (especially if your income is low), it may not result in significant savings.
The following is a list of opportunities that should be considered:
Business Income and Deductions
- Making Deductible Superannuation Contributions
Superannuation is deductible when payments are received by the superannuation fund. To ensure that the funds receives the money before 30 June I would recommend that payments are made 4 working days prior to year end.
- Review and Write off any Bad Debts
You are entitled to a deduction in the year you write off a bad debt and cease collection action i.e. a customer that can’t pay and there is little, or no likelihood of the amount being recovered.
- Review Timing of your Invoices
While it is always a good idea to prepare and send out interim invoices for work partially completed, care should be taken especially if an interim invoice is going to be raised close to 30 June and the work will be completed early July. In this case, it may be more tax effective to invoice for the completed job in July. That way the full income will be assessed in the next financial year instead of part of the income in the current financial year.
- Review your Inventory at Year End
Obsolete or damaged items in your inventory can have a significantly lower value than current or undamaged stock yet are still valued at their full value. By reviewing your inventory and revaluing the damaged or obsolete stock you can create a further deduction for your business!
- $30,000 Instant Asset Write Off
If you purchase equipment and motor vehicles up to $30,000 you can claim a tax deduction in the year you purchased the item/s.
Please note that this is not an extra deduction or a refund as some sellers of equipment are indicating; what it does mean is that you can claim the amount as a single tax deduction in the year that you purchase the item rather than as depreciation over 4-5 years.
We cover this concept in depth in our recent article “To spend or not to spend – why using the $30,000 business asset write off might be the wrong decision”
Personal Income and Deductions
- Document and claim all work-related expenses
You can claim a tax deduction up to $300 a year without receipts, you just need to keep records on how you calculated the amount you claim. With receipts you can claim more than the $300, therefore it is important to keep your records.
One of the biggest things that I hear is that I spent money but have lost the receipt. The ATO states that “Documents that you are required to keep can be in written or electronic form. If you make paper or electronic copies they must be a true and clear reproduction of the original.” Therefore, take a picture of the receipt with your phone as a backup or if you have lost the receipt contact the place of purchase for the item to see if they can issue a replacement receipt.
- Maximise superannuation concessional(tax deductible) contributions
You can make concessional contributions to your super up to $25,000 per year. As superannuation contributions are taxed at 15% which is paid by the super fund this can be significantly lower than personal rates of up to 45% therefore saving you a significant amount of taxation and increasing your wealth.
If you are employed you can also make a personal contributions to super. Providing the total superannuation contribution (including your employer’s) is under $25,000 you can claim the contribution as a deduction (effective 1 July 2017).
- Pre-pay deductible expenses
Expenses, like premiums on income protection insurance and interest on loans, can be paid up to 13 months in advance, reducing your income in the current year and in turn, your tax liability.
- Maximise property investment expenses
Make sure you take advantage of all the expenses you can claim from a property investment. For instance, did you know that aside from rates and mortgage payments, you can also claim cleaning and pest control? Ask us for more information about.
- Manage Capital Gains
If you've made a capital gain this year, review your portfolio to see whether it is worth selling any investments at a capital loss to offset the gain
Please note, you can't just sell an asset to trigger a loss, then buy it back. The Tax Office regards this as a form of tax avoidance, known as a ‘wash sale’, and has been focusing in recent years on targeting such sales.
- Motor vehicle deductions
If you have used your motor vehicle for work-related travel, you claim for travel based on how many kilometres you travelled upto 5,000 km. To calculate the claim, you need to prepare a summary of the amount of km’s you travelled for work and then multiply this by the ATO rate of 66 cents per km.
As an alternative, if you have been using your car for a significant amount of work-related travel then you may well be able to claim a deduction for your total car running expenses to the extent you have used it for work. However, you must have a properly completed logbook.
- Deduct home office expenses
When part of your home has been set aside primarily or exclusively for the purpose of doing work from home, costs such as heating, cooling and lighting and depreciating your office equipment or professional library may be allowable.
To claim the deduction, you must have typically kept a diary for at least four weeks of the hours you worked at home. This amount is then used to work out your total hours worked for the year and a deduction claimed at the current rate of $0.46 cents per hour.
However, you can’t claim occupancy expenses such as mortgage interest, rent, and insurance and rates unless you conduct a business from your home.
The dreaded ‘T’ word…
It may seem that the ATO is constantly finding ways to dip into your income, but there are smart, effective and legitimate ways to maximise your claims and minimise your tax payable. Ask us for help before June 30 to make the most of the opportunity for this financial year.