Preparing Your D.I.Y Tax Return

Part 1 – Things You Need To Know Before Lodging Your Own Tax Return

Aussies love D.l.Y (Do it Yourself). But when it comes to tax, sometimes it pays to leave it to the professionals, especially if your situation involves investments, capital gains, or if you are running a business.

There is nothing wrong with doing your own taxes – Unless you end up saving a few hundred here and there on professional fees but end up paying more in taxes, penalties and spending extra time and effort more than you need. Not every Australian needs a tax agent to lodge a tax return.

For those going at it alone and DIY lovers, our 3 part DIY series will reveal tips to help you lodge your 2018 tax return.

NOTE – For those that need a little bit of help, WE ARE TAKING BOOKINGS NOW to help reunite you with your taxation refund sooner. Contact us 07 3668 0646 or flick us an email at

– Lodgement deadlines.
Know the tax lodgement deadline for your specific situation. Generally, if you are doing yourself this will be 31st October. Tax agents have their own deadlines, however as a guide its good practice to have all your relevant information to your agent 31st October.

– If you are lodging for the first time.
Consider your options. You can see a tax agent or complete your Tax Return online by using the ATO MyTax service. A benefit of using a registered accountant to lodge your return on your behalf is they can assist you should you need to lodge previous financial years as they need to be submitted. Alternatively, if you are the hands on, you can call the ATO on 13 28 61 and clarify with them which years you have outstanding.

– Keeping receipts.
This will largely depend on the manner you generate income and the type of claim you are making. Generally, undocumented expenses of up to $300 are allowed. Please note undocumented does not mean unsubstantiated. You will still need to provide evidence that you incurred the expense if requested.

– Not sure what to claim?
For specific expense or concerns, refer to the ATO’s website, phone them, or speak to an accountant. There is plenty of free information and a range of Guides on the ATO’s website explaining what you can and can’t do. Your Accountant will be able to explain specific tax deductions and edibility.

There is a wide range of information about, online, publications, BBQ conversations, etc. Beware of free advice and treat any information you receive as general only, because it may not apply to your situation. The devil is always in the details.

In part 2, we will cover things you should know when lodging your own return.

If you can’t wait or if it’s too much already WE ARE TAKING BOOKINGS NOW to help reunite you with your tax refund sooner. Contact us 07 3668 0646 or flick us an email at and we’ll send you your very own occupation and industry specific checklist that will help you lodge your tax return.

Disclaimer Waiver – This information is of a general nature and should not be viewed as representing financial advice. Users of this information are encouraged to seek further advice if they are unclear as to the meaning of anything contained here. Whilst care has been taken to ensure the validity of our content, we accept no responsibility for any loss suffered as a result of any party using or relying on this materials.

Posted on 28/07/2016 in Accounting Services

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About the Author

James Huy Vuong the Founder of Your Accounting Partners, a Brisbane based Business support agency. Specialising in providing bookkeeping, accounting, tax and compliance, business valuation and business sales services to local small business owners. His passion for business was evident very early on at the start of his career in accounting. He embarked on an unconventional path away from the traditional position with one of the big 4 accounting firms like most aspiring young graduate in his field. He decided instead through the lure a more diverse role, more pay and a much cooler title to work with Australia largest telco as a Business Specialist. He entered the world of business management and ownership in the hospitality industry for the invaluable hands-on experience one could not get just by reading textbooks, understanding debits and credits and passing exams. Huy has also spent a good part of a decade in the financial services industry owning and managing his family business which has lead him to start Your Accounting Partners. Your Accounting Partners sets out to help time-poor, frustrated business owners do better business by partnering with business owners on their ownership journey and making it together. Your Accounting Partners specialises in hospitality, service-base & professional services businesses. His mission is to help business owners use their business to give back to the family what it takes out. When it comes to business we say "You focus on what you do best, partnering with us and we'll take care of the rest".

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