Lesson 3: Key tax dates & obligations explained

The best way to keep track of key dates

The Australian Taxation Office has heaps of lodgement and payment dates throughout the year, not just around the End Of Financial Year. These can range from Business Activity Statements, Fringe Benefits returns and many more mandatory actions to keep your business compliant with the ATO.

Luckily, we've got you covered. 

Between now and the End of the Financial Year, business owners have a few things to do. Below are all the important dates to remember and what you need to do on those dates to ensure your business is compliant with the tax office.

Download the list, print it out and put it somewhere you'll see it every day. This way, you'll always be on top of things.

If you've got nowhere handy to put this list, don't worry - you can view it on our End of Financial Year page.

But what about industry-specific tax obligations?

Now that we've gone through the most common tax dates for all businesses, we can get a little more specific in terms of what industry you might be in.

You might not be clear on which expenses you can claim. Or perhaps there are times when you think it's all a bit too complicated and you're tempted to over-claim in an attempt to cover all bases. Before you do any of that (and risk making things more complicated), let's take a quick look at a few industries and what they can, and can't, claim. (Psst! This is also a good topic to talk about with your accountant or bookkeeper!)

Trade and construction

For tradies, if your vehicle is one tonne or more or designed to carry nine passengers or more - then the ATO says you can claim a proportion of expenses like fuel for what you use for work. 

You can also claim other work requirements, such as:

  • company-issued shirts,
  • hi-vis gear
  • steel-capped boots
  • sunscreen
  • union fees
  • meals or accommodation if you had to travel for work 

But if your employer paid those expenses or reimbursed you, then claiming them is no longer an option. More details about what you can claim can be found at the ATO website.

Office workers

The good news is, that if you have a home office, you can claim a percentage of the costs. This includes depreciation of office equipment, work-related calls, electricity and heating. If you're going to do this, it's best to keep a detailed diary of all these possible expenses so you'll know exactly what's what. Both for yourself and the ATO.

If you're claiming car expenses, you need to keep a logbook. Especially if you're travelling between two places of work, delivering items or supplies or just travelling thousands of kilometres.

Also, if you're undertaking work-related training or courses and have incurred costs along the way, you can claim these expenses too.

Retail and hospitality

Keep your receipts. That should be your priority across all types of claims. With retail and hospitality, you can claim work-specific clothes like chef pants and aprons. Keeping the receipts just means you can prove it.

Things like barista-training which you had to pay for is another expense you can claim. But this only applies to your current role, not if you're trying to prepare yourself to apply for another job. 

Travel expenses are pretty simple. If you're traveling between your workplace to an event space with the purpose of catering it, that's a claim right there. But again, keep a logbook for every minute so you can be confident if any questions arise.

Did you find everything you need to claim?

We hope that our lesson has cleared away some of the confusing cobwebs about tax obligations. That's what this course is all about - helping you step by step until you see what once seemed scary and overwhelming is now under your control and good for your business!


In the next lesson

We talk about translating complex (but not really!) terms like Single Touch Payroll (STP), Instalment Activity Statements (IAS) and Business Activity Statements (BAS). Let's go!