When you lodge your tax return, you must declare all the income you receive.
Though the ATO prefills most income information from your employers and financial institutions, you will still need to make sure that all income you received are declared.
Income you must declare on your tax return
The income you must declare includes:
- Income you earn as an employee (including overseas employment)
- Income you receive as a business owner, including those who are self-employed
- Company pension and annuity
- Government payments and allowances
- Income you receive from investments, such as interest and dividends
- Income you receive from rent on property you own
- Income you receive from your spouse or partner, including their business income and investment income.
Sometimes, you might earn money from things you don’t put on your tax return. There are three different kinds of money that do not go in the tax return. These are:
Work-related expenses – how they affect your tax return
You’re entitled to a deduction for work-related expenses you incur when you earn income as an employee.
- The cost of travel to and from your place of work (including trips between different workplaces)
- Meal and accommodation costs when you have to travel overnight for work – for example, if you have to attend a conference in another city
- Work-related phone calls, internet use, stationery, laundry and dry cleaning
The cost of travel between your home and work isn’t generally tax deductible unless:
- There is no regular workplace where you need to carry out your duties as an employee – for example, if you have no fixed place of employment, such as sales representatives or real estate agents
- Your home is a base of employment – for example, when you run a business from home or use your home address on business cards
Good recordkeeping will help you to make sure that the right amount of tax is withheld from your pay and that you claim only the deductions you’re eligible to. By getting organized, you can find this information faster once your tax time comes around.
We hope that you’ve found this to be a useful guide on the basics of preparing your tax return. If you require more information in preparing your tax return, please visit www.ato.gov.au, or if we can help you file your income tax return, please contact us for assistance.
Australian Taxation Office Website