Slow and steady wins the race this tax time

- May 31, 2024 2 MIN READ


As tax season approaches, CPA Australia is advising Australians to take a cautious and deliberate approach to filing their tax returns.

According to CPA Australia’s spokesperson Gavan Ord, rushing through tax returns can lead to mistakes that may delay refunds or necessitate re-lodging.

“With cost of living pressures and the desire to ‘just get it done,’ many taxpayers will likely submit their returns early, but doing so risks making costly mistakes – and can ultimately be self-defeating,” Ord stated.

Ord highlighted the importance of waiting until all necessary information is available and pre-filled by the ATO, typically completed by the end of July or mid-August.

So how can you make sure your tax experience is a smooth one? CPA Australia shares a number of tips to get it right.

3 tips to streamline your tax return

Gather and Prepare All Evidence: Ensure that your end-of-year income statement is marked ‘tax ready’ and that all relevant financial information, such as private health insurance, dividend, and interest data, is finalized.

Check Work-Related Expenses: Accurately claiming work-related expenses is crucial. Typical deductible expenses include uniforms, protective items, work phone and internet costs, subscriptions, union fees, and travel between worksites. For those working from home, keeping receipts and a work diary to substantiate claims is essential.

Consider Professional Advice: For complex financial situations or multiple income sources, consulting a registered tax agent like a CPA can be beneficial. The cost of hiring a tax agent is itself tax-deductible, making it a wise investment.

Ord also highlighted a common pitfall for individuals working multiple jobs. Only one job should have the tax-free threshold applied; otherwise, taxpayers might face a larger tax bill due to under-taxation.

“Completing your tax return properly can be time-consuming, but it’s your personal responsibility to get it right – and is in your financial interest to do so,” Ord remarked. He encouraged those with complex financial situations to seek professional advice to ensure accuracy and maximise refunds.

Remember that a thoughtful, methodical approach this tax season will help avoid costly errors and ensure that you claim everything you’re entitled to – just like the tortoise in the classic fable.

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