The audit is a dreaded part of tax filing that every Australian would like to avoid. Each year, the Australian Taxation Office announces which pieces of your financial information will be their main focus. While the best way to avoid an audit is to be clear, consistent, and honest with your reporting, there are some key things you can do to avoid finding yourself under the watchful glare of the ATO.
Lodge Your Tax Return On-Time and Make Arrangements As Needed
Lodging your tax return late, or not at all, is an almost certain way to draw an audit to your finances. If you find yourself behind on your tax return, or if you’re having problems paying an outstanding tax bill, TCA Accountants & Bookkeepers can help you through this process. Don’t continue to delay and get further and further behind on lodging your return. Arranging a plan with the ATO can possibly help you avoid deadline fines, as well as an audit, and TCA Darwin is here to help get you up-to-date. There is no greater time to get your taxes in order, and have that peace of mind.
Keep a Record and Accurately Report All Income
It may sound simple enough, but if you’re receiving income from multiple sources, it’s easy to forget to report all aspects of your finances. Remember to report any and all income that you have received, including government benefits. It may be beneficial for you to keep a record throughout the year of income received, particularly for those individuals who do contract or freelance work. Record the date, the amount received, the work that was done, and other pertinent information, and keep any related documentation. It’s equally as important to ensure that your numbers are accurate and not an estimate. This combination of careful record-keeping and accurate reporting provides protection and proof that you are clearly reporting a complete and true income, and drastically reduces the chances of you being audited.
Don’t Forget Overseas Income!
If you work or live overseas, you are still required to lodge an annual tax return as an Australian resident. Remember to report all types of income received overseas, even if taxes were already taken out in the country where you received the income. This can be an overwhelming process, and is another area in which TCA Darwin is happy to assist. There is also helpful information on the ATO website about working overseas as a resident of Australia.
Know and Record Your Deductions
You absolutely want to receive tax deductions for which you are eligible, but at the same time, make sure you aren’t claiming more than what is acceptable for your situation. Remember to keep all receipts for your expenses, so that you can maximize your return. Research the ATO website, and importantly, contact TCA Darwin to ensure that your claims are both complete and accurate.
Tax time doesn’t have to be stressful. The TCA Accountants & Bookkeepers team is here to guide you and assist you in avoiding these audits, as well as help you when they do occur.