EOFY 2020

05 June, 2019

Want to get the most out of your tax return this year? Shadforth shares tax-efficient tips and strategies for EOFY 2020.

With the financial year end fast approaching, now is the time to start thinking about how to take advantage of the tax and super benefits available to you. Here are our top tips to help you get prepared for EOFY.

End of year tax offsets & deductions

For many of us, the question on our lips when the end of the financial year rolls around is: “How much tax will I get back?”

The answer doesn’t just depend on how much money you’ve earned and how much tax you’ve paid – it also comes down to whether or not you’ve taken the right steps to make your tax return work for you. Consider the following ideas:

Spouse tax offset

Making a $3,000 contribution to your spouse’s superannuation account may provide you with up to $540 in tax offset, if your spouse has a total income below $37,000. If your spouse’s total income is up to $40,000, you can still qualify for a reduced offset amount. More information on this can be found at Super-related tax offsets.

Tax-related deductions

If you’ve received investment income such as dividends from your investments in shares or rental payments from an investment property, you may be able to claim for costs related to producing this income, such as account-keeping fees and interest charged on money borrowed.

You could also be able to claim some of your work-related expenses and reduce your taxable income (and thus your tax payable). Generally speaking, you can claim an expense for work when:

  • The money spent was related to work
  • You weren’t reimbursed by your employer
  • You have an official record of the expense, such as a receipt, bank statement or diary entry

Keep in mind that if the cost was for both work and personal use (for example, mobile phone usage) you can only claim a portion of the expense based on how often it was used for work use versus personal use.

Some common expenses for work that you may be able to claim include:

  • Car and travel expenses – There are specific rules for claiming these expenses, so check the ATO’s guide to travel between home and work for more info.
  • Home office expenses – If you work from home some or all of the time, you could be able to claim a deduction for the cost of equipment such as computers, furniture and phones used for work purposes. You could also be able to claim for costs incurred from running your home office, such as utilities, repairs, cleaning etc. However, you can only claim the work-related portion and not the portion for private use.
  • Work clothing expenses – If you bought occupation-specific clothing, protective clothing or work uniforms during the year, you may be able to claim for the money spent, as well as the costs of cleaning those clothes.
  • Gifts and donations – Any amount you donate above $2 can be claimed back.

There are a number of other tax deductions that could apply to you, so it’s a good idea to keep receipts and speak with your financial adviser to find out what you can and can’t claim.

Private health insurance offset

Depending on your income and age, you could be eligible for a tax offset of up to 35 per cent on your health insurance as part of the private health insurance rebate. If you haven’t claimed a reduced premium from your health fund, then you can claim an offset in your tax return.

End of year superannuation tips

Boosting your super balance isn’t just beneficial for growing your retirement nest egg – it also has a number of potential tax benefits. Here are some key things to consider:

Government co-contribution

For those with an income below $38,564 for the financial year, making a $1,000 contribution into their super will see the government provide a $500 contribution into their fund. If you’ve earned up to $53,564 you’re still eligible for a part contribution.

There are a few specifics around eligibility for the co-contribution, such as your income needs to be in part generated from working or income from carrying on a business. This is a great opportunity for part-time or casual workers to boost their super balance. For eligibility specifics and further information, refer to Eligibility and Superannuation Co-Contribution.

Top up concessional contributions to super

The concessional contribution cap is $25,000, and is made up of any superannuation guarantee and salary sacrifice amounts you’ve contributed during the year. If you’ve made less than $25,000 of these type of contributions this year, you may be able to make an additional contribution to super and claim a tax deduction in your personal return for the amount you deposit.  The contribution will be taxed in your fund at 15%, rather than at your marginal rate, so it can be quite a tax efficient strategy. You can read more this super strategy here.

If you’re planning on making any voluntary contributions to your super fund before the end of the financial year, remember that they must be received by your super fund before 30 June in order for you to claim a tax deduction for your contributions. With that in mind, leave plenty of time for your contributions and any required forms to be processed before 30 June.

Looking for personalised advice to get the most out of your tax return this year? Contact us to speak with an experienced financial adviser near you.