Tips to tackle tax time

Stress less when it comes to lodging your tax return – check out our tips on what to do before, during and after to make the process smooth and stress free instead.

4 minute read

Before June 30

It’s never too early to start gathering the paperwork you need for your tax return. While you wait for your employer to prepare your pay as you go (PAYG) summary statement, you can start to think about other documents or info you’ll need.

Things to have ready

You’ll need some info, receipts and statements from the last financial year. For a detailed list of what you need to provide, it’s best to chat to a registered tax agent or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). It’s good to start with your:

  • Tax File Number (TFN)
  • bank details (BSB and account number)
  • Medicare number
  • receipts for any tax deductions you want to claim
  • PAYG summary from each employer
  • statements for money received from investments (like dividends or rental income)
  • bank statements for accounts you’ve received interest from.

If you want an account statement for a certain timeframe or need a current statement but you’re in between statement cycles, you can generate a transaction summary or proof of balance letter in the Bankwest App.

You can also find a copy of your tax statement in the app under 'More' then 'Tax information' or via online banking under 'Tax information’ then 'Account information'. If you don’t have access to the app or online banking, contact us and we will send it to you via post.

During tax time

When 1 July hits, you can complete your tax return and submit it to the ATO. The due date for your tax return is usually 31 October for the last financial year but can vary if the date falls on a weekend or you use a registered tax agent.

Doing it yourself vs. paying a tax agent

Depending on how much time you have, you could prepare your tax return yourself or pay a registered tax agent to do it instead.

If you have a simple tax return (like one employer or only a few tax deductions) you might prefer to save money and do it yourself. If you have a more complex situation (like investment properties, shares or multiple employers) you might feel more comfortable paying a registered tax agent.

If you decide on a registered tax agent, make sure to keep the receipt - you can claim the expense as a deduction next financial year.

After you’ve submitted your tax return

Once you’ve submitted your tax return, keep in mind that it’s the busiest time of the year for the ATO, so you might have to wait a few weeks for your tax refund (if you’re entitled to one). Once you’ve received your Notice of Assessment (NOA) and stored your paperwork in a safe place, then the fun part comes...deciding what to do with your tax refund!

Save it for a rainy day

Do you already have some savings set aside for a rainy day? If not, then you could get the ball rolling with your tax refund. You could open a separate savings account and even create a savings goal.

Shave off existing debt

If you’ve got a home loan, personal loan or credit card, it could be a good opportunity to pay some of it off with your tax refund. This could help you save on interest and reduce the loan term at the same time.

Spend it on something special

If you’ve been window shopping for a while and have something special in mind, then you could treat yourself. If it’s a bigger ticket item and your tax refund doesn’t cover the cost, you could work out a budget and start saving the extra money you need.

Calculate your budget

Tax time glossary

Whether you’re organising your tax return, or a registered tax agent is completing it for you, it’s a good idea to brush up on the most common tax terms.

Medicare Levy

Medicare is a service for Australian residents to access healthcare. It’s partly funded by the Medicare levy, which is 2% of your taxable income (unless your taxable income is below a certain amount).

Notice of Assessment (NOA)

Once you submit your tax return, the ATO will process it and send you a NOA. It’s a detailed summary of the amount of tax owed.

Pay as you go (PAYG) summary statement

This is a payment summary statement that your employer prepares each financial year. It shows your TFN, the amount of income received and the total tax you’ve paid for the year.

Tax deduction

Deductions are usually expenses (personal or work related) that you claim in your tax return. For example, if you work in a trade you might be able to claim your tools, uniform or laundry.

Tax offset

Tax offsets (sometimes called tax rebates) directly reduce the amount of tax you need to pay from your income. For example, if you’re a pensioner then you may be entitled to claim the seniors and pensioners tax offset.

About this article

We take care of all the BS (bank stuff) so you can access the knowledge you need to make informed decisions. When we write a guide or article, we take steps to make sure the information is relevant, accurate and most of all, helpful.

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Some of the information has been sourced from the Australian Taxation Office.

The information contained in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to be nor should it be considered as professional advice. You should not act on the basis of anything contained in this article without first obtaining specific professional advice. Also to the extent permitted by law, Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL / Australian credit licence 234945, its related bodies corporate, employees and contractors accept no liability or responsibility to any persons for any loss which may be incurred or suffered as a result of acting on or refraining from acting as a result of anything contained in this article.