What do I need to prepare for my tax return appointment?

If you’re meeting your accountant soon to discuss your business tax return, please don’t go empty handed. Preparing for this appointment is not only wise, but saves a lot of time and effort for you and your accountant.

Not only will your accountant love you for it, it also ensures you get to claim the biggest amount of tax refund possible.

When using a new accountant, always start with last year’s tax return. It should have your personal details, tax file number, income streams, tax offsets, deductions, and other relevant information previously claimed.

If you use a cloud accounting solution, all your data will be available online for your accountant. MYOB Essentials is a great product for capturing your business transactions. It allows you to record data in real-time and in a format that your accountant understands. Your accountant has access to it 24/7. Together, you can monitor your business performance and be prepared for your tax obligations.

Here is a brief checklist of things to prepare for your accountant:

Income

  • PAYG Summaries from employees
  • Lump sum termination payments
  • Bank interest
  • Distributions from trusts, partnerships, managed superfunds
  • Superannuation lump sum payments
  • Allowances (car, travel, entertainment, meals etc.)
  • Pensions and allowances
  • Foreign income
  • Capital gains
  • Dividends
  • Personal services income
  • Net income/loss from business
  • Rental income

Expenses for tax deductions

  • Motor vehicle expenses based on business use percentage (include your log book if applicable).
  • Travel and accommodation information – domestic and overseas
  • Work uniforms and other clothing expenses
  • Courses, education and seminars
  • Home office expenses
  • Computer, software and repairs
  • Tools and equipment
  • Employee costs
  • Superannuation contributions
  • Rent/lease payments
  • Interest
  • Dividend deductions
  • Bank fees
  • Low value pool deductions/depreciation
  • Telephone and internet
  • Freight and transport costs
  • Utilities – electricity, gas, water
  • Legal and accounting fees
  • Donations
  • Income protection insurance
  • Details of any asset purchases
  • Medical expenses
  • Childcare expenses

READ: Yearly reports and tax returns tips

It is highly recommended that you keep receipts for all expenses and tax deductions you are claiming for your business. Scan and file them electronically so that they are accessible should you need them for audit purposes.

Further to the above information, accountants also require the following information for review so it is recommended you scan or photocopy these:

  • Bank and credit card statements
  • Lease, hire purchase, chattel mortgage or other loan agreements to your business
  • Business Activity Statements and Instalment Activity Statements and working papers.
  • Stock valuation figure after performing your 30 June stock take.

Your accountant can work through every possible tax deduction available for you and your business. Don’t forget to ask your accountant what tax incentives are available to you in order to increase your tax deductions too.

You are now prepared to meet your accountant having collated all of the required information above to fulfil your tax obligation. Rest easy – at least for 12 months before you have to go through this process again.

READ: Have you got a game plan for your tax return?

The information provided here is of a general nature for Australians and should not be your only source of information. Please consult an experienced and registered tax agent as each small business’s circumstance will vary for end of financial year.