When you’re filing your own tax return, it’s easy to overlook or omit crucial details. Privately submitted tax returns are audited more frequently for this reason. While some of these potential mistakes might not have catastrophic consequences, they can cause considerable headaches in terms of time and money. Here are four common mistakes to look out for to prevent it from occurring.
Not checking your details
Using the pre-fill function to populate fields and forms with your ATO details can save time, but you should never accept it without carefully checking each field. While the details are probably accurate, even a small spacing error can cause the incorrect information to be relayed. If your current and past information don’t match on certain fields, you might be audited.
Not preparing your private and public healthcare documentation
Before filing, make sure you have accurate and certified documentation regarding your healthcare claims made over the tax period, whether it was through Medicare or private provider. Only relay information that appears on these documents to ensure you get the correct rebate.
Not investigating your individual situation thoroughly
If there’s anything you’re not entirely sure about regarding your tax situation, we recommend you seek out a private ruling to clarify if you’re able to make certain claims. You can fill in a form online and the ATO will respond will relevant advice to your situation. Should the situation be flagged at a later stage, you can use this correspondence as protection.
Not keeping track of receipts and spending
When filing your own tax return, it’s best to keep a track of all relevant receipts. You’d be surprised how several small purchases can add up when tallied over a tax period. However, there’s a cap involved that limits your ability to claim above a certain amount – and in some instances, claiming without receipts. Therefore, if you’re only providing the total, you need to be able to demonstrate how you calculated your final figure.
As you can see, completing your own tax return is not just a hassle, but makes it much more likely that it will be filed incorrectly and potentially lead to you being audited or even more serious consequences.