In Australia, the financial year (FY) covers from 1 July to 30 June, which is varied from the calendar year. At the each end of financial year, you would be eligible to lodge your tax return, and due by 31 October.
There are numbers of reasons to obligate you to lodge a tax return, such as:
• You were an Australian resident and you:
1. Paid tax under the pay as you go (PAYG) withholding or installment system, or
2. Had tax withheld from payments made to you within past financial year;
• You were eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset and your rebate income was more than a specific amount;
• Although you were not eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset, you received a payment listed at Australian Government allowance and payment, and other taxable payments which, when added together to make your taxable income more than a specific amount ($20542 in FY 2015).
In addition, there are four ways to lodge your own return:
• Lodge with myTax, which is the easiest and fastest way;
• Lodge through a tax agent, which is the most liable and accurate way;
• Lodge a paper tax return;
• Tax Help program.
Firstly, you should answer the questions within Individual Information page:
• Your TFN;
• Are you an Australian resident?
• Your physical details;
• Your postal address, home address and contact details;
• Will you need to lodge an Australian tax return in the future?
• Electronic funds transfer (EFT).
Secondly, you ought to report all your income details during the past financial year within Income page:
• Salary or wages;
• Allowances, earnings, tips, director’s fees etc;
• Employer lump sum payments;
• Employment termination payments;
• Australian Government allowances and payments;
• Australian Government pensions and allowances;
• Australian annuities and superannuation income streams;
• Australian superannuation lump sum payments;
• Attributed personal services income;
• Gross interest;
• Employee share schemes.
Then, you could calculate your total income or loss in the past financial year.
Thirdly, you may be able to claim deductions for work-related expense (GST Inclusive), which you incurred while performing your job as an employee. And the expense must not be in private, domestic or capital in nature. Furthermore, if you received an allowance, which showed at Item 2 on your tax return, you may be able to claim the work-related expenses covered by the allowance at Item D5. Moreover, if you used a depreciating asset to produce your taxable income, you may be able to claim its decline in value, which you held during the past financial year. Finally, you must need to keep the written evidence for your work-related expense. The items in the Deductions pages are:
• Work-related car expenses. The expenses are you incurred as an employee for a car, which you owned, leased or hired under a hire-purchase agreement. (There are four methods to determine the work-related car expense: Cents per kilometers, 12% of original value, one third of actual expense and logbook. However there are two methods remaining: Cents per kilometers and logbook, from 1 July, 2015);
• Work-related travel expenses. The expenses must be directly related to your work. NOTICE: you CANNOT claim the cost of travel between home and work, due to private in nature;
• Work-related uniform, occupation specific or protective clothing, laundry and dry cleaning expense. Uniforms must be distinctive, and protective clothing must protect you from the risk of illness or injury, or to prevent damage to your ordinary clothes;
• Work-related self-education expense. The self-education course CANNOT relate only in a general way to your current employment or profession, or enable you to get a new employment;
• Other work-related expense;
• Low value pool deduction;
• Interest deduction;
• Dividend deduction;
• Gifts or donations;
• Cost of managing tax affairs.
Then, you could calculate your total deduction, and Subtotal.
Finally, there is other information you need to answer:
• Losses: Tax losses of earlier income year;
• Tax offsets: Seniors &Pensioners and Australian superannuation income stream;
• Medicare levy;
• Income Tests;
• Spouse details.
In summary, if you provided all the above information, you could lodge your tax return through the FOUR ways. All the information are referred to the information in Individual Tax Return Instruction and ATO website. And eventually we hope this summary could assist your own tax return in the future.