Tips For Surviving The Aussie Tax Season
Taxpayers in Australia are being reminded by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) that the deadline for submitting their tax returns is drawing ever closer. If you are one of the millions of people in Australia who are required to submit a tax return, then the following advice is intended to assist you in making the process as simple and stress-free as is humanly feasible.
Before you get started, you need to ensure that you have all of the relevant documentation gathered together. This includes the income statement that was sent to you by your company, as well as bank statements and any other evidence that is pertinent. There is also the option of using tax preparation software such as myTax to assist you with the procedure. Also, before you send in your return, make sure to check it twice to ensure there are no mistakes. This year there will be a significant number of audits carried out by the ATO, therefore it is essential to check that everything is accurate.
Do you consider yourself one of the fortunate individuals in Australia who only needs to file a tax return once every three years? Or are you one of the unfortunate individuals who is required to file an annual tax return despite the fact that their income is quite low? Regardless of what you’re going through, the following advice should help make the experience a little bit less difficult. First things first, compile all of the necessary papers.
This includes tax returns from prior years, bank statements, pay stubs, and any other data that pertains to your income or deductions in any way. After that, you should educate yourself on the several kinds of tax deductions that are accessible to you. For instance, you might be eligible to deduct things like property taxes, gifts, or expenses related to your place of employment.
Advice on How to Make It Through the Australian Tax Season
It’s the final stretch! In preparation for the busiest and most difficult period of the year, accountants all throughout Australia are buckling down and putting their heads down. Because working 60 hours over the course of six days has become the standard, this can lead to a pretty unpleasant and chaotic atmosphere in the workplace. The good news is that careful preparation and methodical organization of one’s time can go a long way toward mitigating the negative effects of stress. Here are some suggestions to help make paying taxes a little less burdensome.
Prepare in Advance, and Keep in Touch
Remind your friends and relatives that tax season is approaching and that you may expect to have a busier than normal schedule as a result. Make sure they are aware that you will be putting in long hours at work and that you might not be approachable at certain points by notifying them in advance. Establish what others can expect from your responses to their requests and commitments. When they are aware of the situation and can better comprehend it, family and friends are in a better position to offer support. Ask someone person to take care of the planning if you are the one who typically does it all, but during tax season you should delegate that responsibility.
Put Down the Phone You’re Using
The key to successfully navigating tax season is smart time management on your own end. Reading texts and emails as soon as they arrive is a simple method to pass the time, but doing so disrupts focus, which is necessary for performing the task at hand. Put your phone away and turn it to mute if you feel that the alert is easily able to distract you from what you’re doing. You should schedule specific periods throughout the day to catch up on your messages and emails, and you should turn Outlook off outside of these hours. Because of this, you will have a continuous flow of time at your disposal, during which you can concentrate totally on the task at hand. Managing incoming messages, such as emails or responses, in batches rather than one at a time will not only save time but will also simplify the process.
Have a conversation with your coworkers about the most effective means for them to convey essential information to you. For instance, you might program your phone to vibrate only for certain people in your contact list, or you could utilize specialized messaging software, such as Slack, Viber, or WhatsApp, for all of your business-related correspondence.
When personal relationships are taken into consideration, it can be challenging for an accountant to put time-management tactics into action. On the other hand, if you genuinely care about your customers, you won’t mind being open around the clock to cater to their requirements throughout the busy tax season.
In no time at all, you will turn into a busy bee, spending twenty hours a week or more responding to requests for legal advice on tax season preparation and deductions from the owners of small businesses, many of whom have likely missed their filing deadlines. This will turn into a full-time job for you. But does excessive labour lead to improved performance? Absolutely not.
It almost always signifies entering a territory inhabited by zombies. In addition, doing so is neither in your clients’ or your own best interests as a business. Now, let’s set the record straight. During the time of year when taxes need to be filed, it is impossible to do well if you are in the zombie zone. In the end, do you think your clients will be content with books that have been lightly done as well as tax preparation? For this reason, the most important thing to focus on during tax season is setting boundaries.
Prepare yourself financially for the approaching tax season by making a strategy and sticking to it. Make as accurate of a schedule as you can for the many activities you want to participate in. Set up time in your schedule for communicating with customers. Make sure you leave enough time in your schedule to attend meetings, answer incoming calls and emails, and respond to messages. Provide your customers with specific information regarding when, how, and what they can speak with you about when they contact you as well as how they can reach you. Take your time to do the tasks that need to be done without allowing yourself to get sidetracked by non-prioritized demands, and don’t feel bad about doing so.
When the madness of tax season first starts, this is one of the most helpful pieces of advice accountants can receive
There is no need to worry about clients becoming aggravated. Accounting needs to be done, but you also need to have some time for living. You can relieve some of the burdens of having to satisfy unreasonable expectations by establishing boundaries. Inform your customers what kinds of assistance services they can anticipate receiving from you. It is a lot better alternative than making promises that you are unable to truly keep. It helps to create trust. If you perform your job in accordance with the expectations that were discussed, your customers will continue to be happy.
The establishment of limits is in no way impolite. Explain to them how their tax deductions will benefit from the careful auditing and correct accounting that you have performed. Establish a voicemail and use the auto-reply tool on your email to send a courteous notification to people letting them know when you will be available again. Just because you care for your customers doesn’t imply you can’t ever turn them down. It means providing their businesses with the highest quality expert assistance possible during tax season.
Everyone ought to be aware of the time of day during which they are most productive, and you should organize your day according to the peaks and valleys of your own personal productivity curve. You should save tough or crucial chores for the times of day when you feel the most alert and capable of tackling the load. Start a little earlier if you’re a morning person to escape the stress of rush hour, or come in later if you’d rather have breakfast with your family at home and do the school run together (which will give you some prized face time during tax season). It’s important to discover a healthy equilibrium that works for you so that you don’t end up being all bent out of shape.
It’s possible that eating lunch at your desk could be a good trade-off in certain situations. Having said that, coffee does not qualify as a meal, so ensure that you bring a nutritious lunch to work with you or coordinate order for lunch with your coworkers using a delivery service like UberEATS or Deliveroo. Coffee does not count as a meal. Avoid making a mad sprint to the vending machine in the late afternoon by keeping some nutritious snacks on hand so you may give yourself a fast boost of energy whenever you need it. It’s simple to become unknowingly dehydrated when you’re putting in a lot of effort, so make sure that your water bottle is always full and close at hand.
Do Your Job From Home
If you eliminate the time spent preparing meals at home and travelling to and from work, you can gain back many valuable hours each day. You no longer have to be physically situated next to another person in order to maintain a high degree of communication. The development of communication tools such as Google Drive, which allows for the collaborative sharing of files, or online accounting software such as QuickBooks Online has made it feasible to work remotely and flexibly thanks to technological advancements.
Take A Break
Create a schedule for the day that includes several brief breaks of ten minutes each, during which you can walk around or stretch. Gather your thoughts and make sure your head is clear; you might even try doing some simple meditation at this point. If you have the option to work while standing up, you should make use of it. Whether you do it in the morning or the evening, making sure you give yourself some downtime to relax and refresh is essential. Include time in your schedule for strenuous physical activity, such as going for a run, taking a yoga class, or working out at the gym.
Toast the end of the tax filing season.
We are aware that it seems as like you are being tugged in a number of different directions, and that your days are continuously full-packed, but try to keep in mind that this situation is only temporary. Consequently, plan a low-key get-together for once everything is over. This will provide you with something to look forward to as well as an opportunity to refuel your energy reserves. But the most essential thing is to make time for relaxation and rest when things calm down, and to savour the time you get to spend with the people who matter the most to you in this life.
Bring all of your documents together into one location.
The more organized you are, the less stressful the procedure will be for you, and the greater the likelihood that you will maximize the amount of deductions available to you. You won’t be able to get the most out of your costs unless you keep detailed records and keep all of your receipts. Make sure that you gather all of your documentation in one location so that you can prevent unnecessary back and forth with your accountant.
Even though each person’s circumstance is different, as a general rule, the following documents should be obtained before you begin:
- a copy of the tax return from the previous year;
- documents relating to the purchase and sale of any shares, businesses, or properties;
- Information pertaining to private health insurance;
- Spouse details (if relevant);
- information about the children, including their dates of birth;
- a complete listing of all income, including income statements, income from rentals, interest, and dividends, as well as any income from other countries;
- Make a list of all of your expenses, including those associated with your job, any gifts you made, any money spent on furthering your education, and any money spent on handling your taxes.
You or your accountant may be able to get some of this information from the ATO. Examples of this type of information include income statements, details regarding payments made by Centrelink, and information about private health insurance.
Aside from refunds, the ATO is tightening down on questionable deductions, which means that if you intend to claim it, you need to be able to verify that you are entitled to it.
Please Specify Each and Every Work-Related Expense
Whether you work as a chef, a carpenter, or a copywriter, every job has a list of tax deductions that are unique to that profession. There is a good chance that you can get reimbursement for some of the costs associated with your place of employment. These might include things like car expenditures, uniform costs, mobile phone bills, and even union dues. Think about any items you’ve bought that are related to your employment or that help you perform your duties more effectively. It could be equipment that you use on the job, or it could be a membership to a newspaper that is specific to your sector. If the item is closely related to your job but your employer did not reimburse you for it, you may be able to write it off as a business expense.
Determine the method that you will use to file your tax return.
When you have finished collecting all of your information, the next step is to think about how you will submit your tax return. If you want to submit your tax return electronically, you can do so on your own with the help of our Online Tax Express Return software. We will provide you with tax guidance and suggestions at various points throughout the preparation process to ensure that you collect the most money possible from your refund. In addition, because it is accessible around the clock, you may submit your tax return electronically whenever and wherever it is most convenient for you, safe in the knowledge that it will be reviewed by a qualified tax professional.
Choose our Online Tax Adviser service if you anticipate that your tax return will be somewhat challenging or if you believe that you will require additional input from a tax professional. Comparable in speed, simplicity, and adaptability to our Online Tax Express service, with the added benefit of having our tax professionals handle all of the laborious work on your behalf. With Online Tax Adviser, all you need to do to get your returns prepared is upload your personal information and tax documents, and we will do the rest, including maximizing your refund and submitting everything through our user-friendly and protected online portal.
Seek Help From Experts
According to the statistics, 74% of people in Australia seek the assistance of a tax agent while preparing their tax returns. It is always in your best interest to seek the guidance of a professional, as even information that appears to be unimportant to you could have a direct bearing on the tax return you file. Even while you might believe that handling your own taxes will save you money, doing so might instead cause you to lose out on deductions that you are eligible for. Expert guidance is both convenient and inexpensive because it is offered in a variety of packages and pricing points to accommodate a wide range of taxpayers and income levels.
Take the Easy Way Out and Use Accounting Software
If you haven’t familiarized yourself with cloud-based software before the upcoming tax season, you can be missing out on certain benefits and putting in unnecessary effort on your accounting tasks that you no longer have to complete. There’s no way around this. But the world is shifting, and the expectations of your customers’ accounting services are expanding. How much longer do you think you’ll be able to keep your head above the water? Especially considering how hectic tax filing season is right now, it is high time that you got rid of manual records and made sure that precise synchronization of data was ensured.
Accounting automation solutions are becoming increasingly popular in the business world, and for good reason: they are an excellent choice for preserving the integrity of one’s financial records while also ensuring their safety. However, it does not provide everything that a contemporary company requires from its accounting system.
The complexity of real-time e-commerce transactions will, in a few years, render it impossible to continue manually reconciling bank statements. This will make the practice obsolete. Don’t worry about keeping your accounting records accurate and up to date during this time of year, because you won’t need to. Instead, we need to come to terms with the fact that it is absolutely necessary to automate all of the menial accounting activities with software.
When it comes to filing taxes, there is a greater demand than ever before for reliable accounts receivable solutions. But let’s say you want to ensure that all of the data you get from your various selling platforms and payment suppliers is accurate. If this is the case, then the direct integration of payment platforms to the accounting system will not allow you to complete the task in a manner that is free of errors. Thankfully, there are software options that make accounting a simpler procedure overall. Software solutions such as Synder are an example.
Synder is a comprehensive accounting receivables solution that integrates real-time data transfers from all payment processors into accounting software. Using this automation tool, you may fill in all the blanks and find ‘lost’ fees, sales taxes, and shipping expenses. When it comes time to file taxes, you won’t have to worry about dealing with transactions anymore.
Balance Work And Personal Life While You’re Busy Accounting
During tax season, maintaining a healthy balance between work, family obligations, and accounting reporting is essential.
Explain to your loved ones that you are not ignoring them and that the upcoming tax season requires you to spend more time working on your financial accounts than usual. In point of fact, you require more attention, care, and understanding than ever before from those closest to you.
Let’s have a conversation about the possibility of relieving you of some of your domestic responsibilities. When you are in a position where you require assistance, do not be hesitant to ask for it. Even if it’s something as simple as taking a stroll with your dog every day. In the heart of the hectic tax filing season, any assistance will be an invaluable resource for you.
You will find that scheduling daily and weekly family meetings or adjusting the ones that you already have to fit the speed of your work and life will be quite helpful in preserving your life. However, you should not fully forego the simple (though necessary) joys in life, such as having supper with your family or going for a walk together in the evening. They will take on the cost of your sacrifice as well. For this reason, keeping a healthy balance between work and life should continue to be a key concern even throughout tax season. It is still valuable to have, even if the amount of time involved is only fifteen minutes rather than an hour.
Fostering Both Your Mind And Body Can Help Your Accounting Practice
We don’t normally put fundamental things like getting enough sleep and maintaining a healthy diet in doubt. However, during the stressful tax season that lasts for three and a half months, many things have the potential to break.
The majority of accountants report working up to 56 hours per week during the tax filing season, which includes working on weekends; however, some accountants report working as much as 90 hours per week during this time. When stress is at a high level, even the most fundamental requirements for self-care might go by the wayside. It is unavoidable that the standard of the professional services you provide would suffer as a result.
Because of this, you are going to have to make a conscious effort to pay attention to your health. Stretch your muscles occasionally and give your mind a rest every once in a while. You might even need to remind yourself to eat by setting an alarm! During tax season, things like that don’t appear as ridiculous as they normally would.
Put a note in your planner to remind you to take care of your physical needs and to nurture your body. Do you want to have clear thinking for the entirety of the following day? Get some decent sleep. That is the single most important piece of guidance you could possibly receive.
During the time of year when taxes need to be filed, there are a variety of straightforward applications that can simplify your life. Find healthy food delivery options in your neighbourhood, meditation instructions for five minutes or less, eye-relaxation exercises, and a mood tracker, and incorporate these practices into your daily routine.