Get ready for tax time

It’s almost tax time and if you’ve been working remotely there might be more you can claim in your return. Although toilet paper might not be one of them, the ATO is getting clear on the work-related expenses you can claim as a result of working from home. And remember the three golden rules when making a claim: you must have spent the money and not have been reimbursed; it must relate directly to earning your income; and you must have a record to prove it.

The ATO has also introduced a new method for work-related tax deductions which will allow people to claim 80 cents per hour for all running expenses, rather than needing to calculate specific costs.

"If you choose to use this shortcut method, what you need to do is keep a record of the hours you worked from home as evidence of your claim," the ATO's Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat said.

Read the full interview with the ABC.

For more information, visit the ATO website or read its latest factsheet.

Plan ahead for the 2020/2021 Financial Year

As you know, ACU pays fortnightly and in the 2020/2021 financial year, instead of the usual 26 pay days, there will be 27. The ATO tax tables are based on 26 pays, and as a result the extra pay in 2020/2021 may result in insufficient tax amounts withheld come tax time 2021.

If you are concerned about a shortfall in tax payments, you can take an action to pay extra tax by submitting a tax variation using the Tax Declaration & Variation form available in Staff Connect. After choosing the Calculation Method of ‘Current Pay Earnings + Amount’ you can indicate an additional dollar amount of tax to be withheld from your pay each fortnight. For help completing this process, see the Tax Declaration & Variation Self User Guide.

Refer to the tax table on the ATO website for suggested amounts based on your expected fortnightly income. You may choose to pay extra tax each fortnight across the whole financial year or over fewer pay periods – you can opt to pay extra tax anytime throughout the financial year.

The information provided above is general in nature and does not take into account your overall financial situation. You may need to seek advice from a tax professional.

Financial wellbeing with EAP

Looking for help with your finances? AccessEAP offers various programs to help you get on top of your debt, learn to budget, and improve your overall financial health.

Read further information in the Access EAP client area by taking a few seconds to create an employee login using your ACU email address, or downloading the AccessEAP app from the App Store or Google Play.

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