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Last-minute tax tips for individuals

With just over a week until June 30, here are some tips that can help savvy individuals make the most out of their tax refund for the 2014-15 year. The following tips are by no means exhaustive and may not be relevant to every personal situation.

The most important thing every individual taxpayer needs to know when it comes to claiming their tax is what expenses they can claim.  For most individuals, finding and organising receipts at tax time can be challenging and time-consuming. But, some of this stress can be avoided if they are mindful that they can claim up to $300 of work-related expenses without receipts. Even though there is no written evidence, taxpayers must be able to show how they worked out their claims.

People who are required to wear a uniform for work may be able to claim  clothes or laundry expenses.

Individuals who are earning less next year due to maternity leave or working part-time may be better off bringing forward any tax-deductible payments into this financial year. Rental property investors may also find it beneficial bringing forward any property maintenance costs, as they can be claimed in full or in part.

Self-employed individuals who are younger than 50 and haven’t exceeded the before-tax contribution cap of $30,000, or $35,000 if they are aged 50 or older, can make a personal deductible contribution.

Investors who are selling a property should consider deferring the sale until after 30 June 2015 to delay incurring CGT for another financial year. Although it will need to be paid eventually, freeing up short-term cash flow may be handy.

Individuals who use their car for a work purpose beyond travelling to and from their workplace can deduct the cost if they have a log book.

Posted on 22 June '15 by , under Tax.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
  • Your fund's unique superannuation identifier (USI).
  • Details of your previous fund.

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