Winter is upon us. Not such a big deal for some parts of Australia, but in the southern states, it means rugging up, putting the heating on and getting used to dark, early evenings. It also, of course, means it’s coming up to the end of the financial year – and tax time!
There are a few things you can do in June in preparation for filing your tax return. The more you can do yourself, the less work for your tax accountant and so, the cheaper the bill for their services.
Many accountants have their own checklists to help you prepare your paperwork (or these days, electronic paperwork, files and spreadsheets). But even before you get this far it might be useful to think about the following things:
- Do you need a depreciation report for your investment property? Perhaps you have bought a property over the last few weeks and have been putting off getting a report. Don’t put it off any longer, go straight to DestinyLive where you can order one directly. If you are already using DestinyLive you won’t have to provide any more information than is already in this system, which makes it really easy for you! You will then be able to claim any deductions in your 2015-16 return.
- Have you been entering all of your income and expenses into DestinyLive? Your property manager will send you a yearly report of all of the rent payments and associated expenses so you can update your DestinyLive system if you are a little behind. You will need copies of invoices and receipts for any repairs and maintenance rates bills you have had on the property(ies) too, to keep in case you are audited in the future.
- Bank statements. These must also be kept if needed in an audit, and the information should be entered into DestinyLive. Doing so will dramatically reduce your accountant’s costs as there will be no need for your accountant to spend time extracting this information. Are these filed in date order to make it easier for the accountant? Are any missing? You can usually download an end of financial year statement when you are doing your online banking. This is useful for totalling interest received and interest paid over the past 12 months.
- Of course, you also need your payment statement from your employer and evidence of any work-related expenses.
- Is there anything that needs doing to your property that can be completed before the end of the financial year? June is a good time to do a property audit, perhaps together with your property manager, and go ahead with some repairs and maintenance, the costs of which could be claimed in this financial year.
If you are a Destiny client, it’s a great time to schedule a meeting with your Qualified Property Investment Adviser, to review your goals set earlier this year and to set new goals and targets for the year ahead.
Finally, whether you are a Destiny client or not, you can take advantage of the DestinyLive online property management and tracking tool. You can add details of your investment property (the first one is free) and the reporting offered by this exceptional tool will make tax time a breeze. All the information you need for your accountant regarding your investment properties will be easily downloadable from DestinyLive.