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ATO focusing on personal electronic devices

This financial year, the ATO has announced that it will be focussing on specific types of deductible claims. In previous years, the tax office has announced specific industries or professions that will be subject to particular scrutiny.

The biggest announcement this year is that deductions for personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops will be closely examined. Last year, Australians claimed almost $19.5 billion in deductible expenses, and personal electronic devices represent the fastest growing sector in this area.

In order to make sure that you are claiming the right tax deductions for a personal electronic device, you should make sure that you have a clear understanding of what qualifies as personal and professional use.

Travel expenses are another area that will be a focus for the ATO this year, especially claims for transporting large or bulky tools.

Posted on 16 February '15 by , under Tax.

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Transition to retirement

The transition to retirement (TTR) strategy allows you to access some of your super while you continue to work.

You are able to use the TTR strategy if you are aged 55 to 60. You can use it to supplement your income if you reduce your work hours or boost your super and save on tax while you keep working full time.

  • Starting a TTR pension: To start your TTR pension, transfer some of your super to an account-based pension. You have to keep some money in your super account so that you can continue to receive your employer's compulsory contributions as well as any voluntary contributions you may be making.
  • Government benefits and TTR: The benefits you or your partner receive might be impacted if you choose to opt for this strategy. How and what exactly will change might become clearer upon discussing this with a Financial Information Service (FIS) officer.
  • Life insurance and TTR: In some cases, the life insurance cover you have with your super may stop or reduce if you start a TTR pension – check this before making any decisions or changes.

TTR can help ease your mind as you transition into retirement but it can be a bit complex. Before you choose whether you want to use TTR to reduce work hours or save on tax, or even if you want to use TTR altogether, you should figure out how this will impact all aspects of your finances.

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