Frequently asked questions

General

Am I required by law to lodge a tax return?


If you paid any tax during the year you should ask us to see if you are likely due a refund. Many people miss out on their full refund entitlement yearly because of apathy or poor tax advice. The ATO does require you to lodge your return under a variety of circumstances - to determine if the ATO requires you to lodge your return, please check with the ATO.




Do I need to keep a hardcopy of my taxation records?


You must keep your records for 5 years. If at the end of this period you are in dispute with the ATO, you must keep you records until any dispute is resolved.




Will I be penalised for lodging my return late?


You may receive a fine or interest penalty charge from the ATO if you lodge your return late. Generally if you are entitled to a refund those penalties are minimal.




I received money from the Gov't during the year, do I include it in my tax return?


Some government payments and allowances are included as taxable income, others are not. It's important that you declare any taxable payments such as age pensions, newstart allowance, youth allowance or austudy in your tax return. A complete list of payments which do not need to be included on your tax return can be determined when you have your appointment with us.




I have started a second job. Is there anything that I need to do so that I don't end up with a tax bill at the end of the year?


You cannot claim the tax free threshold of $18,200 from more than one employer at a time. It is better to claim it from your main employer. You will pay a little higher rate of tax on the second job but this should ensure that you have paid enough tax on all of your wages for the year.




I am covered by private health insurance and will be turning 65 this year. Will my premium be reduced?


Taxpayers who take out private health insurance are entitled to claim 30% of the premium as a tax offset. This can be taken as a reduced premium, a cash refund from Medicare or claimed through the tax return at the end of the income year. From 1 April 2005 premiums for health insurance policies covering people over 64 years of age have attracted a higher tax offset. If the eldest person covered by the policy is aged 65 or above the offset increases to 35%. Where the eldest person covered by the policy is 70 years or over the offset increases to 40%.




I have had a large pay rise and am worried that I will now have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge. Is there anything I can do?


The Medicare levy surcharge is payable where your income is over a threshold amount and you do not have adequate private hospital insurance. The threshold amount for a single taxpayer is currently $84,000 and for families with up to one dependent child it is $168,000. If your income for surcharge purposes exceeds the relevant amount and you do not have private hospital cover, you will pay the surcharge.

Income for surcharge purposes is a new income test and includes amounts previously not considered in determining liability to pay the surcharge. It includes your taxable income, exempt foreign employment income, investment losses as well as reportable fringe benefits and reportable superannuation contributions. If you are unsure whether or not you will be liable to pay the surcharge, please ask your tax consultant.





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