Personal Income Tax

Tax Time Checklist

Giving your finances a thorough review is a good habit to get into. You’ll not only want to take a look at your taxes, deductions, and levies, but also your superannuation savings.

This checklist, while not comprehensive, can help you cover the basics and prepare to enter a new financial year.

Dividend Income

If you have stocks or other shareholder assets, include all dividends paid or credited to you this year. Dividends can include money, property, or shares from listed investment companies, public trading trusts, corporate unit trusts, and corporate limited partnerships.

If you receive bonus shares, ask the issuing company for a statement to certify whether the bonus shares qualify as dividends.


You can deduct donations made to a tax-deductible charity. Be sure to keep the receipts of your donations for easy reference.

Some donation deductions can be spread over five years instead of one. Eligible donations include property valued at more than $5,000, property recognised under the Cultural Gifts Program, a place included in the National Heritage List, the Commonwealth Heritage List, or the Register of the National Estate. Monetary donations of $2 or more can also be spread over five years.

Note that there are a few donations that you cannot claim, as they actually benefit you in some way and are not true gifts. Such non-deductible contributions include raffle tickets and the cost of attending charity dinners.

Self-education Expenses

You can claim certain self-education expenses as long as they relate specifically to your current employment or income generation.Applicable expenses include subscriptions to academic journals, student union fees, textbooks, student service fees and amenities, and course fees.


Be aware of the increases in concessional contribution caps introduced in the 2014-15 financial year. Also, the superannuation guarantee is set to increase by 0.5% beginning in 2018 until it reaches 12%. Be sure to plan ahead for this increase.

Tax Offsets and Levies

Be sure to take into account all offsets and levies applicable to your situation, such as:

  • Dependent (invalid and carer) tax offset
  • Senior and Pensioner tax offset
  • Medicare levy
  • Medicare surcharge
  • Private Health Insurance rebate
  • HELP-HECS debt
  • Low Income tax offset
  • Child Housekeeper tax offset

Work-related Car Expenses

If you use your own vehicle (whether owned or leased) for work-related functions, you can claim expenses related to this use. Situations in which you can claim work-related car expenses include attending conferences or meetings, travelling between two different workplaces, and carrying bulky equipment.

Motorcycles, utility vehicles with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, and vehicles with a carrying capacity of nine or more passengers are not eligible for this deduction.

You can choose one of four methods for calculating your work-related car expense deduction: cents per kilometer, 12% of original value, one-third of actual expenses, or the logbook method.




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