Checklist For Tax Return: Everything You Need To Know

Thu, 21 Mar 2024


Filing tax returns accurately and on time is crucial for individuals and small business owners. It ensures you fulfil your legal duty and avoids potential penalties from the tax authorities. Late or incorrect filings can delay your refund, result in fines, and even trigger an audit. Guidance plays a crucial role in leading to successful tax accounting. Taxation has many steps that must be followed carefully and strictly. A tax accountant in Perth can assist you through the process.


This blog serves as your one-stop checklist for a smooth tax return filing experience. We'll cover everything you need to know, from gathering documents to lodging your return.


Understanding Your Tax Situation


Your tax filing category depends on the source of your income. Income tax is the primary source of revenue in the tax system, and it is divided into categories. Common categories include:

  • Individual: for salary earners
  • Sole Trader: for running a business by yourself
  • Partnership: for running a business with others
  • Company: for registered companies


Tax Residency: Where you pay tax depends on your Australian tax residency. Generally, Australian citizens living in Australia are considered residents. Find full details on residency requirements on the Australian Taxation Office's website:


Importance of Record Keeping: Keeping good financial records throughout the year is essential. Examples include receipts, invoices, bank statements, and car expense logbooks. Good records make filing easier and ensure you don't miss out on deductions. Business owners can also hire bookkeeping services in Perth and invest their saved time somewhere important.


What Documents To Gather for Tax Filing?


Before diving into your tax return, take some time to gather the essential documents. This will make the filing process smoother and ensure you have everything you need to claim deductions and credits accurately.



Essential Documents:

  • Social Security Numbers (SSNs): You'll need your SSN and the SSNs of your dependents to file your return.


  • Medicare Details (if applicable): If you or your dependents are enrolled in Medicare, have your Medicare card details handy.


  • Tax Professional Contact Info (optional): If you're working with a tax preparer, keep their contact information close by in case you have any questions.


  • Bank Account Details (optional): Consider providing your bank account information if you want to receive your tax refund via direct deposit.


  • Prior Year's Tax Return (if available): Having a copy of last year's return can be helpful as a reference while filing your current one.


Income Documents:

  • Salary & Wages: Gather documents showing your income from salaries and wages. This may include Form Group Certificates (PAYG payments), Centrelink payments, or scholarship income.


  • Investments: If you have investment income, collect documents related to interest, dividends, and capital gains.


  • Rental Income: For rental property income, keep copies of rental agreements and receipts for property maintenance expenses.


  • Business Income: Business owners should have sales invoices and bank statements to document their business income.



Deduction Documents:

  • Work-Related Expenses: If you claim work-related expenses, organize documents like phone bills, travel receipts, and home office expense records.


  • Donations & Memberships: Document your charitable contributions and professional association memberships with receipts.


  • Medical Expenses: Keep receipts for medical expenses not covered by Medicare


  • Education Expenses: Organize documents related to school fees and student loan repayments if claiming education deductions.


  • Investment Expenses: Don't forget to include receipts for brokerage fees and investment management charges if applicable.


Financial Statements:

  • Company's Profit & Loss Statement
  • Company's Balance Sheet

Company owners need to maintain and submit financial records.


Documents Related to Business:

  • Home Office Details: If your client runs their business from home, ask them to provide details of their home office, including the size of the office space, monthly rent, and electricity usage.


  • Documents for Vehicle Use: If your client uses their car for business, advise them to maintain a logbook and provide you with a mileage summary of their routes.


  • Investment Receipts for Assets: Request your client to provide receipts for any capital assets purchased during the current financial year.

By gathering these documents beforehand, you'll be well-prepared to file your tax return accurately and efficiently. In some cases, you might need more or less than what is mentioned above.



The Most Common Mistakes in Income Tax Returns


Here are some typical mistakes that can occur when filing your income tax return. It's important to avoid these errors:

  • Forgetting to include interest income.
  • Providing incorrect or missing information regarding dividend imputation credits.
  • Incorrectly reporting capital gains or losses.
  • Understating your income.
  • Overlooking home office expenses.
  • Failing to claim depreciation on fixtures and fittings in rented properties.
  • Neglecting to claim depreciation on income-generating buildings.
  • Not considering costs related to negative gearing for borrowed funds.




It's important to avoid common errors like overlooking interest income or inaccurately reporting capital gains in your small business tax return or individual or business owner. Seeking professional help from tax accountants in Perth can ensure accurate filing, especially for complex situations. WMK Accounting offers services that can assist with your tax needs. For more information or assistance, visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website. Don't hesitate to reach out for help, as accurate tax filing is crucial for your business's financial health.