Well another tax year has passed, and I hope FY14 was a prosperous one for everyonel. While our personal tax returns may not be due until October, those of us expecting a refund may be tempted to lodge earlier, and get that refund into our bank accounts as soon as possible.
If you're anything like me, then the first thing that pops into your mind when you get your group certificate, is "I wonder how much I'll get back this year?"
Want to estimate your return? Try this Calculator
Or if you are half of a couple, use this version
Estimate how much you can deduct for your car here
One of the greatest challenges during tax time, is remembering and finding records for all our allowable deductions.
For those in the organized minority, a tax return is as simple as opening a file, and matching deductions to tax invoices. They are probably divided into categories for work expenses, charitable donations, education expenses, etc.
For those of us who form the disorganized majority, lodging a tax return is a more stressful process. The process usually starts with a nostalgic trip through the last 12 months worth of our bank statements. This helps us find the dates and amounts of our deductible expenses (or at least those we successfully identify). The fun then continues as we spend hours on the phone with call centres while we request duplicate copies of our tax invoices to be emailed or posted out. We then pray that the call centre person will actually send out the statement, as they often tell you it's on the way, just to get you off the phone.
Fortunately for us disorganized masses, our employers will be giving us group certificates with our next payslip, so that is one document we might not lose before we lodge our returns. However, there are some other expenses which we can estimate without having receipts....
You can claim up to $300 in business expenses without having to show records. This can include up to $150 for cleaning work clothes. (which is great because I've lost all my dry cleaning receipts)
Do you use your own car for work purposes? Didn't keep a log book, well not to worry, you can claim up to 5,000 Kilometres as deductible expense without providing records, (driving from home to work and back not included). These kilometres are converted into a deductible expense. This is called the 'cents per kilometre method'.
Want to estimate your deductible car expense? Try This Calculator