Business Tax Time – Your 25 Point Checklist
Well, another 30 June has passed and hopefully, everyone survived. For some businesses, I know year-end 30 June can be hectic; for others, it’s just a date. I thought you might appreciate some timely reminders and checklist to get your tax stuff’ to your Accountant.
Firstly, I hope your accountant contacted you and did some tax planning before 30 June. After 30 June is not the ideal time for tax planning and many opportunities have closed. If your accountant is not proactive, may I recommend you pop a note in your diary to action a tax planning meeting around May next year. So, onto the checklist:
1. Payment Summary from your employer. If you had switched jobs during that financial year, or have multiple jobs, be sure to give your accountant all Summaries. It’s also wise that if you move home, be sure to advise any employers you had during the year, before 30 June. That way they can send to the right location and avoid that whole drama of it being lost or chasing another copy. If your employer emails, then alert them also of email address changes, and of course, around early to mid-July be sure to check spam boxes that your Summary is not in there.
2. Bank Interest – just alert us of your accounts – we can ‘auto fill’ this for you.
3. Share & dividend statements or at least the Annual Summary that they send out.
4. Rental Property Statements – for those of you who have rentals.
5. Rental Property expenditure – if you have paid any expenses for your rental yourself (and not via the property manager) then we’ll need those details. It may be rates, body corporate, repairs, insurance etc.
6. Details of any asset purchases – especially if it’s an investment asset.
7. Details of any asset sales – we may need to calculate capital gains tax on the disposal.
8. What you spend on private health insurance during the year.
9. What you spent on related education during the year.
10. What you spent on disability aids, attendant care and aged care expenses.
11. Advise on what you’ve spent in respect of private health insurance, or if you do happen to stop, also let us know.
12. Be sure also to tell us about any momentous occasions – birth of a baby, divorce, marriage, a death etc – we’re not being nosy, but often these things can affect your tax return.
Businesses & Companies
13. Your data file or login, whether MYOB, Xero, Quickbooks or some other program. If you are sending your file, be sure to include your version, login and password.
14. Asset Purchase – include the purchase invoice as well as any finance records.
15. Asset Disposal – include this documentation as well.
16. Asset Write Off – if you wrote off (or threw away) any old assets – let your accountant know.
17. Bank Statements – check with your accountant if they just want the opening and closing statement, or every one for the year.
18. Loan or Credit Card statements if you have not entered these items into your bookkeeping file and fully reconciled everything.
19. A list of any questions you may have. Of course, if you forget something your accountant should be happy to chat with you over the phone or respond to your email in a timely manner.
Self-Managed Super Fund
20. All bank statements for all bank accounts in the fund – include all statements even if you do the bookkeeping yourself.
21. All loan statements if there is a loan in the fund such as for a rental property.
22. All rental property statements.
23. All share and dividend statements.
24. All income statements from any other assets, investments or funds.
25. A copy of all tax invoices for ALL expenses incurred by the fund.
Remember, the more organised you are, and if you ensure you have got everything to your accountant, then it means they can get on with the job in hand and do not need to go back to you and hassle you for more items or missing pieces. It’s also important to mention that it’s your responsibility to alert your accountant of your details which might relate to tax. Of course, I understand not everyone knows what is needed to be mentioned (outside the normal, come, capital gains, FBT etc) however if you are unsure or ‘wonder’ then be sure to ask your accountant – they won’t mind. That’s what we’re here for.
Now you may ask “how do I get all this to my accountant?” Most firms (such as ourselves) offer you a huge range of options, including:
- Drop the box of paperwork to our office.
- Email a scanned copy of the documents. Just be aware of your mail limits per email as you might have to send a 2 or 3 emails to spread out the size. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to label (in the subject box) “1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3” so your accountant can clearly see if anything goes missing. Sure, they will know down the track when preparing and there is a gap, but better to be clear up front.
- Drop in a flash drive with the documents scanned.
- Send the documents via a program, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, One Drive, Amazon Drive. These programs often have free or trial versions you can utilise.
- Use the link your accountant sends you.
As for the question of when? There are a string of deadlines throughout the year and every accounting firm needs to submit a certain percentage of their return by various dates. However, at the end of the day, it’s best to get this task done sooner, rather than later. I usually recommend to people who are employees only to action this early August (after you know all the Payment Summaries have arrived). For business clients, I suggest you wait until your June BAS had been lodged, so around August or September is a great time.
Whilst each individual return does not take months to action, it is a process to get in everything, ensure the returns are correctly prepared, chase any missing pieces of the puzzle and potentially discuss any issues with a client. At Southern Cross Accounting, we, of course, do tax returns, but where for this reason most firms ask (perhaps even beg) you don’t leave your returns till the very last moment. I’m sure you don’t want to be up to 3am digging out a missing piece of paper and no accountant wants the pressure of a last minute rush on work. Preparing a tax return is far more than simply ‘plugging in’ some figures, clicking some buttons and it’s done. Strategy, planning and thought needs to go into many of the returns that are prepared – in order to achieve the best (legal) outcome possible for a client.
So, we hope this checklist has been helpful and will make getting your paperwork easier for you to get the information to your accountant. If I can be of any help, or you’d like to come in and chat with me about the services that Southern Cross Accounting offers – no charge – give me a call on 1300 722 570.