As tax time 2020 gets closer and closer, we wanted to help our clients prepare and ensure they are ready for the important financial period ahead. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a curve ball, causing this year’s tax time to be a little more complex than those in the past. However, the Affinitas Accounting team has remained on top of all things tax time 2020 related to make it easier for our clients. Are you looking to prepare for tax time 2020? Find out what steps you can take below!
Preparing for Tax Time 2020
If you’re a business owner, you know how stressful tax time can be. This tax time, there is the added stress and responsibility of the Coronavirus, which has implicated every part of every Australian’s daily life – business owner or not. In order to help our clients prepare for tax time 2020, we’ve put together a list of handy hints and helpful tips to set you on the right path. Business owners and individuals looking for help with their tax time 2020 tax returns can also get in touch with any member from our helpful team for faster assistance.
Want help preparing for tax time 2020? Get in touch!
Handy Hints for Tax Time 2020 Preparation
If you are preparing for tax time 2020, it’s best to start well before 30 June 2020. This will give you enough time to gather what you need for your tax return and prevent any nasty surprises once your tax accountant is done with your yearly results. This year, the onset of COVID-19 has made tax time considerably more stressful and given business owners and individuals alike a lot to think about and prepare for. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of things to start thinking about and getting prepared to be on the front-foot for tax time 2020.
- If you have worked from home due to Covid-19, the government has announced that it will let taxpayers claim 80c per hour to cover costs of home office expenses, based on documented records of the hours you worked from home. However, if you do not think that this will adequately compensate for what it has actually cost you to work from home, you can choose to assess via a one-month diary establishing your percentage of expenses – mobile phone, home computers, printers, internet and any other costs related to working from home.
- Account for all your sources of income during the year, particularly if your have had several jobs or received Centrelink benefits for part of the year.
- Make sure you have receipts for all your work related deductions. Some expenses like union fees can be taken straight from your annual PAYG summary, but most require their own receipt.
- If you have made tax deductible donations during the year, you will need receipts for these.
- If you use your car for work make sure you have a calculation of how many km you have travelled. If you require a log book, make sure that it is up to date.
- Any other work related travel expenses will require diarised notes of where and when you travelled, the purpose of the travel and receipts for fares, accommodation and any other expenses.
- Did you purchase any uniform or protective clothing for work purposes?
- Did you undertake any study that was directly related to your work activities?
- If you studied or worked from home, how many hours per week?
- If you were required to use your personal internet or mobile phone, have you made an effort to establish the percentage usage for work?
- You will need details of any earnings from bank interest, share dividends and managed funds.
- If you sold any investments you will need both purchase and sales details if there is a capital gains calculation to be completed.
- Have you checked your insurances to see if they include tax deductible income protection premiums?
Small Business Owners
- Many of the hints for individuals are transferrable to small business owners.
- Have you reviewed your debtors to see if there are any bad debts to be written off?
- Do you have any obsolete stock or equipment that can be written off prior to 30 June?
- Are all your staff obligations for PAYG Tax and Superannuation up to date?
- Have you disposed of any capital equipment or bought any new equipment?
- Is any of the new equipment worth less than $150,000 and available for immediate write-off?
- Have you sat down and completed a tax planning exercise to in the past quarter?
Investment Property Owners
- Ask for an annual statement of income and expenses from your rental property manager
- Account for all the expenses paid directly by you in relation to the property – usually rates, water, body corp, insurance and some repairs.
- Have you checked whether you have a current depreciation schedule for the property.
Virtual Visits for Tax Time 2020
Covid-19 is about to change the way many people deal with their annual tax returns. Online tax preparation is nothing new, but tax season 2020 is going to put more emphasis on professional accountants to offer flexible and virtual alternatives to face-to-face appointments.
Many taxpayers traditionally visit their accountant for an annual chat, and we look forward to this face-to-face connection at our Aspley office. But this year, visiting your tax accountants office is a risk that should be avoided by all tax professionals and their clients. Covid-19 may be contained – but it has not been cured, nor has a vaccine been developed. We don’t want to put our clients or our team at risk, if that risk can be easily avoided.
The Affinitas Accounting team will be engaging with clients via email, phone, Zoom or any other form of communication that does not involve face-to-face interaction. Affinitas Accounting has already spent many years in the online world and have prepared thousands of returns via post and/or email. This will make the transition easy for those new to such a system.
Via the tax agents portal, we already have access to much of our clients’ current and historical tax information. We have learnt how to use technology to its best advantage – including sharing our screens with clients to better explain various issues. And we are working on introducing paperless processes to allow clients to check and sign their returns – then ultimately receive their notices of assessment. Even if you have multiple years’ worth of tax returns to lodge, or a business or investment property tax return, these can be done via a virtual initial appointment and online process.
We believe many people are going to discover just how easy and convenient it is to virtually visit their accountants in 2020 – and will probably make it an annual event.
Need Help for Tax Time 2020?
The Affinitas Accounting team is dedicated to helping you manage the upcoming tax season and make the process as smooth and simple as possible. To this end, we are extending our operating hours during tax time, from July to October, to help clients or schedule virtual appointments. If you need to speak to one of our friendly tax agents, get in touch!