- It’s less than one month until tax time.
- Too many Aussies are making costly mistakes on their returns.
- Be a dux this tax time with CPA Australia’s “Three Rs”.
With less than one month until tax time begins, CPA Australia is encouraging taxpayers to make sure they’re “tax literate”.
“The level of incorrect tax returns in this country tells us too many Aussies aren’t tax literate”, says Elinor Kasapidis, CPA Australia’s resident tax expert.
“It costs them in unclaimed deductions and it costs Australia in missed tax revenue. We want everyone to make sure they get their tax right this tax time.
“There is a multibillion-dollar shortfall between Australia’s tax take and what people should be paying. For some groups of taxpayers over 90 per cent of returns are wrong."
CPA Australia has a stark message for taxpayers.
“Your tax return is your responsibility. The tax office will be getting out its red pen and scrutinising claims carefully this year, so make sure you’re tax literate.”
However, CPA Australia also offered sympathy for taxpayers who make inadvertent errors.
“The Australian tax system is way too complex; it’s one of the most complex in the world. The way our tax system works, if you don’t claim a legitimate deduction, you won’t get it.
“Plenty of taxpayers miss out on refunds because they don’t know what they can claim. With cost-of-living biting, a few hundred dollars in missed deductions may really hurt this year.”
This tax time, CPA Australia is proposing a new three-step framework – the “Three Rs” – to improve tax literacy in Australia.
“Just as reading, writing and arithmetic are the three Rs in school, there are three crucial skills that need to be learned for tax time.”
CPA Australia’s “Three Rs” of tax literacy are:
- Record everything
“Get your record keeping right this tax time. Ensure you’ve got copies of receipts. Keep a detailed diary throughout the year noting down when you worked from home.” Hold on to documents relating to your expenses, such as electricity and other bills.”
- Be Realistic
“Be realistic when submitting your tax return. The tax office is unlikely to accept a deduction for a packet of Tim Tams eaten in your coffee break at home. As much as your colleagues like to see your pot plants, the ATO won’t accept claims for home-office décor.”
- Reach out
“You can cut your own hair, but you’ll get a better result if you see a professional. It’s the same with completing your tax return. If you see a tax agent, you can be confident you’re paying the right amount of tax and getting the maximum refund you’re entitled to.”
“Tax time is less than one month away. Be a dux this tax time by following CPA Australia’s “Three Rs” of tax literacy.
External Affairs Lead, CPA Australia
0438 502 389