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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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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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