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Individual Tax Returns


Running a business is not an easy task. The experience of running a business is full of highs and lows and includes variety of experiences, challenges and requires lots of creativity, motivation and enthusiasm. In the enthusiasm and passion, a business owner encounters realities they might rather not. However, some experiences cannot be avoided while one must prepare for others.

  • Delegation and trust enhance healthy company growth: With the growth in company business one must learn the art of delegation and imbue company culture with shared trust and this can be done by hiring the best candidates and defining their roles and trusting each staff to perform their role.
  • Plan your things: You must work for today and plan for everything else. Regardless of the things whether you business operation are running smooth or not, you should spent some time on your contingency plan. Spend some time with your administrative staff and find solution to what if scenarios and documenting them for future reference.
  • Be careful with partnership: You need to be extra careful while choosing your partners as choosing a right partners can bring a lot of opportunities, resources and capital for your business and poor partnership can leads to a great difficulty.
  • Learn from the failure: Every business encounter less favourable results at some point. When you do, build on the experience. Critically analyse everything that happened, look for solutions to the failures which led to failures and implement them in future
  • Record Keeping: A good record save time and reduces stress if a discrepancy in a transaction arises, good records allow its easy correction
  • Client acquisition continues even after a client is signed: You not only need to continue to court your clients once they sign, you must maintain an ongoing funnel of potential clients. Spare some time for the client maintenance and client recruitment.

Contact HS Bookkeeping Services at 1300 664 796 for all your bookkeeping!




In GST (Goods and Services Tax), 10% broad-based tax is levied on almost every goods, services and items widely sold or consumed in Australia. Let us give you an overview about role and some aspects of GST. If the annual turnover of your business is $75,000 or more then Yes, you need to register for GST otherwise not. Your company must be registered for GST within the time frame of 21 days after the threshold of $75,000 is reached. There are few businesses like taxi and rider-share drives which need to be registered for GST regardless of their annual turnover. On the contrary, Not-for-Profit organisations can register for GST till the threshold amount of $150,000.
Registration for GST can be done online with ABN (apply if you do not have one via the Australian Business Register or ABR.

How it works?
As mentioned above, the present GST rate is 10%. If any goods or services are charged $100 e.g. then the customers need to pay 10% over the charge paid to you against the goods or services i.e. $110. This additional amount in the form of GST is meant to be paid to the ATO (Australian Taxation Office).

As a business owner you must also be buying resources to be sold. The GST paid to get resources supplied to you can be claimed back as a credit. The GST accounts are balanced at the end of each GST period which is usually done quarterly. The difference between the GST hence collected on your sales and the GST credits you received must be calculated. This difference of amount is the net GST payable to the ATO.

Businesses with annual turnover less than $75,000 are also encouraged to register for GST because they might be spending extensively on supplies and would like to claim their GST credits from the ATO*.

(* Only applicable if the GST credits exceed the GST charged on goods and services)

To get assistance for such financial matters in your business, please book the earliest appointment with one of our financial experts at BookSmart Accountants at 1300 300 106.


Tax offsets also sometimes referred to as rebates, directly decrease the amount of tax to be paid on your own taxable income.

Generally, offsets are effective in reducing your tax to be paid but by themselves they cannot get you a refund.

Health Insurance

Your entitlement to a private medical insurance rebate or tax offset depends upon your income. If you have private medical insurance:

•    the amount of private medical insurance rebate you have entitlement to receive is reduced in case your income is more than a specific amount

•    we will calculate how much private medical insurance rebate you have entitlement to receive when you lodge your tax return.

Most of the times this offset is directly claimed from your health fund provider. If you haven’t done so, we will then claim it when working on your tax returns.

If you receive Government Benefits

The beneficiary tax offset is available if you receive certain Australian Government allowances and payments.

You usually pay no tax for the year if you:

•    only receive any qualifying benefits and allowances, and

•    you have no other taxable income.

•    do have other assessable income you might still need to pay some tax.

•    have no tax payable, the beneficiary tax offset is not available for use.

If you maintained an invalid or invalid carer

You might be entitled to a tax offset if you have maintained an invalid career who was either your spouse or child aged 16 years or older or sibling aged 16 years or older or or spouse’s child aged 16 years or older or spouse's sibling aged 16 years or older or parent or spouse's parent and they should have received one of the following:

•    a disability support pension under the Social Security Act 1991

•    a special needs disability support pension under the Social Security Act 1991

•    an invalidity service pension under the Veterans’ Entitlement Act 1986.

Income tests

Income tests are commonly used to work out an individual's eligibility for a variety of tax offsets and benefits, which often can reduce the amount of tax you may have to pay.

We use numerous items from your tax return when applying income tests. You need to make sure that you complete all items that apply to you in the income tests section of your return.

A number of offsets, advantages and obligations are evaluated using a family income threshold. If you have a spouse, you should incorporate your spouse's income within the relevant section of your tax return.

Based on your circumstances, any of the following tests may be used to evaluate your entitlements:

•    Adjusted taxable income (ATI)

•    Rebate income

•    Income for Medicare levy surcharge purposes

•    HELP and SFSS repayment income

•    Super income tests

Low income earners

You might be eligible for tax offset if you are a low-income earner and you are an Australian resident for taxation purposes.

You do not need to claim this offset. We are going to work it out for you when you lodge your taxes. The offset are only able to decrease the quantity of tax you pay to zero and it does not reduce your Medicare levy.

If your taxable income is less than $66,667, you will get the low income tax offset. The maximum tax offset of $445 applies if your taxable income is $37,000 or less. This amount is reduced by 1.5 cents for each dollar over $37,000.

If you are under 18 as at 30 June of the income year and you have unearned income, your low income tax offset cannot reduce the tax payable on this income.

Medical expenses

The net medical expenses tax offset is being phased out.

From 2015-16 until 2018-19, claims for this offset are restricted to net eligible expenses for disability aids, attendant care or aged care.

Net expenses are your total eligible medical expenses minus refunds from Medicare, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and private health insurers which you or someone else, received or are entitled to receive.

This offset is income tested. If you are eligible for the offset, the percentage of net medical expenses you can claim is determined by your adjusted taxable income (ATI) and family status. The period you lived in a zone in the current income year must include the first day of the income year.

There are 3 more offsets and rebates which are Senior Australians and Pensioners, Super related tax offsets and Zones and overseas forces. We will be discussing these in our next blog.

Call Tax Accountants Cranbourne at 1300 300 106 today to your tax returns.

As we all know that the end of the financial year is almost here to assist you to manage your tax time, below are 5 tips for your tax return so that tax time is easy for you.

Dividend Income:  

Some businesses send interim and last returns so provide these statements to us.
Both the dividend transaction and the amount of the franking credit (if relevant) are a part of your assessable earnings.

Constraints and the terms on the dates might be complicated for many, but we are able to easily clear this up for you. Use the transaction date instead of record date to find out when you obtained the results. But make sure you tell your accountants clearly about these dates as sometimes these could straddle between two financial years.

Depreciating assets:

You can also claim an immediate deduction on your assets that cost less than$300 else we can claim depreciation for you on the asset by using rates as prescribed by the ATO. We might ask you about the extent of any private use.

Hobby or business losses:

If you have invested in a quasi-business activity (such as a hobby farm or venture), and you have generated losses this year, you cannot just deduct the loss against your other income (such as salary and wages).  Unlike negative gearing on property and shares, you are required to quarantine these losses for later use unless you satisfy specific criteria.
We can apply any such losses you have to offset against your other income if you satisfy at least one of following four tests:
– Assessable income test
– Profits test
– Real property test
– Other assets test.

Distribution Statement:

In the case of investing in managed funds or securities, we need to review each distribution statement for you as there may be dividends and franking credits, capital and losses shown.
You should be aware of foreign taxes paid on offshore income as we might be able to claim foreign tax offsets for you.

Membership subscriptions.

Don’t forget to let us know if you want to claim a deduction for membership associated with your investments. Where you gain investment income, the entire amount of the subscription can be claimed as deduction as long as the membership is relevant.

For more information, call BookSmart Accountants Cranbourne at 1300 300 106 and talk to the experts!!

This checklist is a guide only. The results may vary dependent on individual situations.

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA97) categorises income tax deductions into general deductions and specific deductions.

Largely, in accordance with s8-1 of the ITAA97, a tax deduction may only be claimed if:
• the expenditure has been sustained in producing the person’s assessable income, or incurred in carrying on a business for the purpose of producing assessable income, and
• it is not personal (domestic) or capital expenditure, and
• it is not capital in nature, and
• a explicit provision of the ITAA97 or Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA36) does not exclude the expense from deduction, and
• the individual holds the relevant written proof where compulsory.
NOTE: How much of the expense proportion is permitted as an income tax deduction will be contingent on the extent the expenses are sustained in producing the person’s assessable income.
Note: All section and division references are to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA97) unless otherwise stated.

Tax deductible?

Admission fees: For legal & other professionals. Excluded as capital cost. No
Airport lounge membership: Tax deductions to the degree used for work-related purposes. Yes
Annual practising license: Relates to professionals and other freelancers who must pay an
annual charge to practice in their chosen field. Yes
Bank Fees: Tax deductions are permitted if account earns interest. Not private transaction bank fees. Yes
Bribes to government officers and foreign government officers: Also excluded from the cost base
and reduced cost base of CGT assets and cost of depreciating assets. No
Briefcase: If used for work and/or business purposes the price is fully tax deductible. Yes
Calculators and electronic organisers: If used for work and/or business purposes the cost is fully tax deductible. Yes
Child care fees No
Cleaning: Of protective apparel and uniforms. Yes
Clothing, uniforms and footwear
• Compulsory uniform: Uniform should be distinctive and specific to an organisation (eg. corporate uniform). Yes
• Non-compulsory uniform: If on a record kept by the Department of Industry, Science and Tourism. Yes
• Occupational specific: The outfit identifies a particular trade, vocation or profession eg. chefs and nurses. Yes
• Protective: Must be used to protect the individual or their conventional clothing. May include sunscreen. Yes
Club membership dues No
Coaching classes: Permitted to performing artists to sustain existing skills or obtain related skills. Yes
Computers and software: Software is tax deductible. Yes
Conferences, seminars and training courses: Permitted if intended to maintain or increase employee’s knowledge, skills or ability. Yes
Conventional clothing No
Depreciation: Tools, equipment, and plant used for work purposes. Yes
Donations: See ‘Gifts’.
Driver’s licence: Fee of obtaining and renewing. No
Dry-cleaning: Permitted if the cost of the clothing is also deductible. See also ‘Laundry’. Yes
Election expenses of contenders: No limit for Federal, State and Territory.
Limit of $1,000 for local government. Yes
Employment agreements: Existing employer (see TR 2000/5).
Not available for new business/employer. Yes
Entertainment expenses No
Fines: Imposed by court, or under law of Commonwealth,
State, Territory or foreign country (s26-5). No
First Aid course: If it is directly related to occupation or business activities. Yes
Gaming licence: Hospitality and gaming industry. Yes
Gifts of $2 or more: If made to approved ‘deductible gift recipient’ body or fund.
See ato.gov.au for a full list. Gifts to clients are tax deductible if employees can demonstrate a direct
connection with producing assessable income. Yes
Glasses and contact lenses (prescription): These would qualify as medical expenses
Deductible if ‘protective clothing’. No
Glasses and sunglasses: Protective only. Yes
Personal grooming No
HELP/HECS repayments No
Home office expenses: Utility expenses (for example, heat, light, power and depreciation on depreciating assets). Yes
Occupancy expenses: For example, rental, insurance, rates and land tax. Deductible only to the degree that home or study is used for income producing purposes. Yes
Income continuance insurance: Permitted only if the proceeds are assessable. Yes
Insurance – sickness or accident: When benefits would be assessable income. Yes
Bank Interest: Allowed if money borrowed for work-related purposes or to finance income producing assets.
ATO Interest (eg. general interest charge) is tax deductible. Yes
Fines and administrative penalties are not tax deductible. Interest on capital protected loans is deductible except for non-deductible capital protection component. Yes
Internet and computer equipment: Expenses permitted to the degree incurred in deriving
person’s work-related income, carrying on a business or earning investment income (eg. share
investing). Yes
Laundry and maintenance: Permitted if the expense of clothing is permissible (see ‘Work related clothing’).
Reasonable claims of laundry costs up to $150 do not need to be substantiated. Yes
Legal expenses: Renewal of current employment contract. Yes
• Eaten throughout normal working day. No
• Meals eaten when travelling overnight for work-related purpose. Yes
• Meals when travelling (not overnight). No
• Overtime meals: If allowance received under award. Yes
Medical examination: Only if from the recommendation of a work-related business licence. Yes
Motor vehicle expenses: See ‘Travel expenses’.
Newspapers: Claims may be permissible in limited cases if the newspaper is directly linked to
income-producing activities. No
Overtime meal expenses: Only if award overtime meal allowance received. Yes
Parking fees and tolls: Includes bridge and road tolls (but not fines) paid while travelling for work associated purposes. Yes
Photographs (performing arts – with income producing purpose)
• Price of maintaining portfolio. Yes
• Price of preparing portfolio. No
Practising license: Applies to professional workers. Yes
Prepaid expenses for tax shelter arrangements: They must be spread over the duration in which
the services are provided. Yes
Prepaid expenses: Non-business individuals and SBE taxpayers claim is fully deductible if services
are to be performed in period not exceeding 12 months.
All other taxpayers must apportion claim over the period of service. Yes
Professional association dues Yes
Professional library (books, CDs, videos etc) Established library (depreciation allowed) Yes
• New books: Yes
Protective gear Includes harnesses, safety glasses, sunglasses, breathing masks, helmets, boots.
Deductions for sunscreens, sunglasses and wet weather gear permitted if used to provide protection from natural environment. Yes
Removal and relocation costs If paid by the employer, may be exempt from FBT, but tax deductible. No
Repairs (income producing property/or work-related equipment). Yes
Self-education Expenses: Claims for fees, books, travel (see below) and equipment etc. only allowed if there is a direct link between the course and the person’s income producing activities.
No claim for the first $250 if course is undertaken at school or other educational institution and the
course confers a qualification. However, that first $250 can be offset against private expenses, eg. travel, child minding fees, etc.  Yes
Seminars Including conference and training courses if sufficiently connected to work activities. Yes
Social functions No
Stationery (notebooks, diaries, log books etc.) Yes
Subscriptions & Publications If a direct link between publication and income produced by taxpayer. Yes
• Professional associations: Yes
• Sports clubs. No
Sun protection: Claims for sunglasses, hard hats and sunscreen permitted for taxpayers who work outside. Yes
Supreme Court library charges Applies to lawyers and solicitors if paid on annual basis. Yes
Tax agent fees (deduction can be claimed in the income year the expense is incurred).
• Travel and accommodation expenditures if for travel to a tax agent or any other recognised tax adviser to obtain tax advice, have returns prepared, be present at audit or object against an assessment. Yes
• Expense of other incidentals if incurred in having a tax return prepared, lodging an objection or appeal or defending an audit. Yes
Technical and professional periodicals Yes
Telephones and other communications equipment (Including mobile phone, pagers and
beepers.) Cost of telephone calls (related to work purposes). Yes
• Installation or connection fee. No
• Rental charges (if ‘on call’ or required to use on regular basis). Yes
• Private telephone number. No
Tools (work related only) Yes
Trauma insurance If benefits capital in nature. No
Travel expenditures such as public transport, motor vehicles and motor cycles, fares, accommodation, meals and incidentals:
• Travel to home and work. No
• Where worker has no usual place of employment (eg. travelling salesperson). Yes
• If ‘on call’ basis. No
• If essentially working before leaving home (eg. medic giving directives over phone from home). Yes
• Transport bulky tools (eg. builder with bulky tools). Yes
• Travel from home (which is a place of business) to usual place of work. No
• Travel from home to alternate work place (for work-related purposes) and return to normal work
place (or directly home). Yes
• Travel between normal work place and alternate place of work (or place of business) and
return (or directly home). Yes
• Travel between two employment places. Yes
• Travel in course of employment: Yes
• Travel with a relative (may be permissible if relative is also carrying out work-related duties). No
Union and professional association fees Yes
Vaccinations No
Union levees No
Watch: Except job specific such as a nurse’s job watch. No

Substantiation Rules

Claims for work-related expenses, car expenses, and travelling expenses incurred by an individual must be substantiated if the claims are to be allowed (Division 900 of ITAA97). As well as the requirement to incur
deductible expenditure, the ‘Substantiation’ rules impose a strict evidentiary requirement that must be
satisfied if claims are to be allowed.
Under the primary test in s8-1, the taxpayer must be able to show that they incurred the relevant expenses and
that those expenses were incurred in earning their assessable income, or were incurred in carrying on a business.
Once the primary test has been satisfied (i.e. the expense has been incurred and is allowable) the ‘substantiation rules’ impose a mandatory level of record keeping. If those records are not kept, the claim may be disallowed unless the relief rules apply (see below).


Substantiation records must be retained for five years from the later of the due date for lodging the relevant return
or when it is lodged. As a general rule, employees are not required to substantiate:
• employment related expenses where the total claim is less than $300
• laundry expenses, up to a maximum of $150. Note: This amount forms part of the $300 limit
• sunscreen, sunglasses and hats if their job requires them to work in the sun
• reasonable travel claims where a travel allowance has been received
• overtime meal claims up to $27.70 in 2013-14 (TD 2013/16) for allowances paid under an Industrial Award
note that 2014-15 claim amounts are yet to be released at the time of writing, or
• some car expenses
Even though the strict substantiation rules do not need to be satisfied for the above expenses,
employees must be able to show that those expenses were incurred and how they calculated their claims.

WARNING! Self-employed persons, partners and individual trustees must have written evidence to prove
all of their claims.

The five-year period can be further extended automatically if any of the following are unresolved when the five
years ends:
• an objection
• a review or appeal arising from an objection, or
• a request for amendment.
The extended period lasts until the dispute is resolved. The Tax Office can require you to produce your records.
The Commissioner must give you 28 days’ notice to comply, but you may be allowed additional time.
If you receive such a notice you must produce in English:
• the required written records (or documents), and
• a summary containing this information:
-- a cross-reference to the written evidence
-- a summary of the particulars of the written evidence, and
-- the amount of the expense in Australian currency (if the expense is in a foreign currency).
The claims will be disallowed if you fail to produce these records.

Call Tax Accountants Cranbourne at 1300 300 106 for further information.

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Individual tax returns from $110 - $130