Tax Time, everyone’s favourite time of the year…. right?
It’s one aspect of our lives MANY of us let slide (and I mean many). It’s easy to not stay on top of your paperwork, instead of stuffing any receipts, invoices and more into a box, folder or cabinet and forget about it until June/July rolls around. So, with the up and coming new financial year at the end of this month, we are giving you the chance to start fresh with these little tax hacks, to ensure that you are staying organised with your taxes.
- Have a system
Make a home for all your paperwork related to taxation. We recommend filing all your paperwork in binder folders, categorised by the month. This means that every bit of paper you receive from now onwards has a home. And avoid making a folder of ‘other’ or similar…it ends up being a dumping ground for everything. So, implement an organising system and be strict on it.
- Download an app
Take advantage of technology and download an app such as Expensify, to help digitally store your receipts. This is a perfect way to reduce the stack of receipts that you collect over the year. Digitally storing your receipts as you go is also a great way to prevent the loss of information from the receipt ink fading.
- Schedule in ‘tax time’
It doesn’t sound like the most fun of activities and let’s be real, it probably isn’t, but nothing is as bad as doing hours upon hours of organising of your finances and taxes every year in time for the end of financial year. Making time each week/fortnight/month to go through and make organising your tax (receipts and all) a priority, ensures that you are not left with the dreaded pile to process.
So, make sure that all your new items to be filed are kept in a tidy space (where things can’t be lost) to be sorted through at your scheduled time.
- Go paperless
It’s a great way to help make a positive impact on our environment, and it’s also a great way to reduce the stacks of paper you will likely collect over the financial year. Often now, companies are even charging you to send a hardcopy paper bill, so double check on that too!
- Pay as you go
Don’t leave your bills to add up, once a new bill arrives in the mail or email, pay it (if you can), so it can be filed and organised away. This prevents having a stack of bills that need to be paid lying around. This also prevents you from having to pay any unwanted late fees as you may have forgotten about their due dates!
- Keep all records for 5 years
You need to keep account of all income and tax related expenses for 5 years once a return is lodged. Once the 5-year period is up, you can see goodbye to an old paperwork and shred away. Always check with your accountant first though to confirm this.
It’s also a great idea to try and pay attention to any new policy changes. There may be new tax brackets, cuts/deductions and grants which you can apply for!