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I only worked for part of the year. Do I need to do a Tax Return?

If you earned less than $18,200 in the financial year and you had no tax withheld from that income, you might not be required to lodge a tax return. However, even if you don’t lodge a tax return, you still have to notify the ATO. Contact your accountant to arrange a Return Not Necessary to be lodged with the ATO to ensure the Tax Return is not left outstanding. There is no charge for this to be lodged.

Can I claim out of pocket medical expenses on my 2016 Tax Return?

The net medical expenses tax offset is being phased out. Expenses you can claim from 2016 are restricted to disability aids, attendant care or aged care.

Disability aids are items of property manufactured as, or generally recognised to be, an aid to the functional capacity of a person with a disability but, generally, will not include ordinary household or commercial appliances.

Attendant care expenses relate to services and care provided to a person with certain disabilities to assist with everyday living, such as the provision of personal assistance, home nursing, home maintenance, and domestic services to a person who is blind or permanently confined to bed or a wheelchair.

Aged care expenses relate to services and accommodation provided by an approved aged care provider to a person who is a care recipient or continuing care recipient within the meaning of the Aged Care Act 1997.

Net expenses are your total eligible medical expenses less refunds from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and private health insurers which you, or someone else, received or are entitled to receive. They do not include contributions to a private health insurer or travel or accommodation expenses associated with other categories of medical expenses.

This tax offset is income tested. The percentage of net expenses you can claim is determined by your adjusted taxable income (ATI) and family status.

Can I get a quote to see what my refund will be?

In order to determine what your refund will be, we need to complete the entire tax return. As a result, we do not offer quotes.

Can I claim a deduction for makeup or personal grooming expenses?

The ATO does not allow tax deductions for personal grooming items like these:

  • Make-up
  • Hairdressing
  • Hair spray
  • Moisturisers
  • Hair conditioners
  • Facials
  • Teeth whitening or straightening

However, you can claim a deduction for these items if;

  • You work in an aircraft cabin. If it is of absolute importance that you maintain a well-groomed image for your employer and this requires you to use skin moisturisers and hair conditioners to combat the lack of humidity and pressurisation.
  • You are a Cosmetic or Make-up artist and you purchase the make-up for use on your clients. You can’t claim if you use the same make-up for personal use.
  • You work as a performing artist and pay for the cost of a hairstyle which is required for a role you are performing in (not valid for auditions). You can also claim the cost of maintaining a particular style or haircut as part of a costume for continuity purposes.
  • Performing artists can also claim the cost of tinted contact lenses or special glasses that are required for a role. They must be cosmetic and must be for a role you have already attained, not an audition. You cannot claim a deduction for prescription contacts or glasses as the ATO classifies those as a private expense for a personal medical condition.

Can I claim a deduction for Pay TV?

A deduction is generally not allowable for the cost of access to pay TV, as it is not incurred in gaining assessable income and is a private expense. It is considered that even though a taxpayer may be able to use part of the information obtained in the course of their work, the benefit gained is usually remote and the proportion of the expense that relates directly to work is incidental to the private expenditure.

Can I claim my car for work travel?

You can claim your car for travel between your home and your workplace if:

  • you used your car because you had to carry bulky tools or equipment that you used for work and could not leave at your workplace (for example, an extension ladder or cello)
  • your home was a base of employment (that is, you started your work at home and travelled to a workplace to continue your work for the same employer)
  • you had shifting places of employment (that is, you regularly worked at more than one site each day before returning home).
Work-related car and travel expenses also include the cost of trips:
  • between two separate places of employment (for example, when you have a second job)
  • from your normal workplace to an alternative workplace while you are still on duty and back to your normal workplace or directly home
  • from your home to an alternative workplace and then to your normal workplace or directly home (for example, if you travel to a client's premises to work there for the day).
If the travel was partly private, you can claim only the work-related part. You cannot claim normal trips between your home and your workplace, even if:
  • you did minor work-related tasks at home or between home and your workplace
  • you traveled between your home and workplace more than once a day
  • you were on call
  • there was no public transport near work
  • you worked outside normal business hours
  • your home was a place where you ran your own business and you traveled directly to a place of employment where you worked for somebody else.

How do I claim my car for work travel?

There are 2 methods to claim your car.

Method 1: Cents per kilometre
  • Your claim is based on a set rate for each business kilometre
  • You can claim a maximum of 5,000 business kilometres per car, per year
  • You do not need written evidence, but you need to be able to show how you worked out your business kilometres.
Method 2: Logbook
  • To work out your business use percentage, you need a logbook and the odometer readings for the logbook period.
  • You can claim fuel and oil costs based on either your actual receipts or you can estimate the expenses based on odometer records that show readings from the start and the end of the period you had the car during the year.
  • You need written evidence for all other expenses for the car.
  • Your logbook must cover at least 12 continuous weeks and is valid for 5 years.
  • The logbook method allows you to claim a deduction for any car expenses - fuel and oil, registration, insurance, repairs, maintenance, interest on any finance, depreciation.

Accounting & Business Advisory

Do I need to register for GST?

You must register for GST if:

  • your business or enterprise has a GST turnover (gross income minus GST) of $75,000 or more
  • your non-profit organisation has a GST turnover of $150,000 per year or more
  • you provide taxi or limousine travel for passengers in exchange for a fare as part of your business, regardless of your GST turnover - this applies to both owner drivers and if you lease or rent a taxi
  • you want to claim fuel tax credits for your business or enterprise.
If your business or enterprise doesn’t fit into one of the above categories, registering for GST is optional. However, if you choose to register, you generally must stay registered for at least 12 months.

What can you do for my business?

Our business client requirements are delivered on time every time. We can offer you a pre-tax analysis to identify areas of improvement while you still have time to act on the advice. Not only do we prepare you business accounting and taxation requirements, we can also provide assistance and advice that includes, but is certainly not limited to:

  • Preparation of financial reports
  • Changing business structures
  • Tax effective accounting
  • Cashflows
  • Budgets
  • ATO liaison
  • GST advice
  • BAS statement preparation
  • Bookkeeping services
  • ATO registrations
  • Superannuation advice
  • Workcover
  • PAYG requirements
  • Fringe benefits tax
  • Managing issues with loans to directors and related companies
  • Asset register maintenance
Contact us at R J Sanderson & Associates to discuss your business accounting and taxation requirements.