The end of the financial year is upon us once again folks. For those of you who have not lodged your tax return yet, it’s time to dust off those old crusty receipts, get out the calculator and crunch those numbers!
Tax time can be a particularly confusing time for students, and there are a few hints and tips that will definitely make your tax life easier. To help you out, here is a simple guide to get you started. Before you know it, your tax will be done, and you can get back to the finer things in life – like study!
STEP 1: Collect
The first thing you will want to do, is find and collect all of those important receipts you were supposed to keep (you kept those, right?). If you can, you’re going to want to keep any important receipts from the most recent financial year (i.e., 15 – 16), anything before then won’t be of much use. If you haven’t got your receipts, it’s a good idea to check your emails. If you have paid for something important online, like a laptop – receipts are often sent via email.
Sort receipts, record logs and the like into applicable categories. It’s a good idea to look up what you’re going to need before you start your tax return.
STEP 2: Visit the ATO website
The Australian Tax Office website is the place to go if you’re in need of specific information regarding your tax. It’s a wealth of information, such as which deductions you’re eligible to claim as a student, plus from there you can access MyTax, which is where you need to go to lodge your tax online (if you are doing it yourself!). Remember, if you’re a full-time student, you’re eligible for deductions. For example, technology and internet service costs can be claimed in the name of study (see links at the bottom of this page).
The majority of student tax deductions are related to out-of-pocket expenses incurred during the year which are directly related to your income generating activities OR expenses incurred in undertaking self-education programs where the expenditure and your circumstance deem those expenses to be eligible and therefore claimed as a tax deduction.
STEP 3: End of Financial Year Sales
Because businesses need to sell as much ‘end of year’ stock as possible, end of financial year sales present a perfect opportunity for students to go out pick up some extra special and necessary study tools – books, technology etc. So after you’ve finished with all that tax work, take a break and head to the shops for some retail therapy!
Happy taxing everyone.