Making an amendment to your tax return

Once we have lodged your 2014-15 tax return and forwarded your notice of assessment to you saying that everything is as discussed, you may realise that something has been left out of your tax return or accidentally included an extra deduction. You might be left wondering “how do I amend my tax return?”.

The Australian tax system is based on “self assessment”, which means the Tax Office generally takes your word, under our guidance, and bases its assessment on the information provided. But if it subsequently becomes apparent that something is wrong, there is an option to make it right.

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Telstra’s 2014 share buy-back: its impact on 2014-15 tax returns

In 2014, Telstra announced that it would undertake an off-market share buy-back, with the buy-back results announced on October 6, 2014.

The Tax Office says participating shareholders are taken to have disposed of their shares accepted under the Telstra buy-back at that date (CGT event A1). It has released a fact sheet giving advice for Australian resident investors who hold their shares on capital account and that are subject to the CGT provisions.

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Tax deductions for your holiday house

Many of us look forward to an annual getaway, either to the beach or the bush, as the best way to unwind and re-charge after another tiring year. For many Australians having a beach shack or bush retreat can be made more affordable by leasing out their properties to other holiday makers.

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What is a Tax Office public ruling and how can it help?

The Tax Office can issue public rulings that provide guidance on the interpretation of various tax laws.

Public rulings generally deal with priority issues that have been found to require clarification, so if you have a concern about a particular area of tax law, you may find that many of your concerns are shared by others and may have already been addressed.

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Cash economy: The ATO has its own ideas about your living expenses

The ramifications of Australia’s “cash economy” is a pebble in the Tax Office’s shoe that it is constantly looking to dislodge.

One of the tools that it has developed to achieve this is a set of guidelines looking at an average taxpayer’s household expenses.

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Work-related expenses in the firing line

With Tax Time 2015 in full swing, the Tax Office has flagged that it will pay particular attention to work-related expenses. It says it’s an area that adds up to about $19.5 billion in tax deductions each year.

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Deductions for home to work travel

When can you claim a deduction for home to work travel?

As a general rule, travel from your home to your workplace is not allowed as a deduction because it constitutes a “private expense”. There are however circumstances when you may be entitled to claim some of these travel expenses, or even travel costs to an alternative workplace. But it is a minefield that needs to be negotiated carefully.

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Tax deductions: What you can’t claim

Here are some misconceptions about deductions that many taxpayers commonly believe to be claimable, but are typically rejected by the Tax Office.

While some are obviously not allowable, they have all been genuinely attempted to be claimed — and in most instances knocked back. Other disallowed claims, however, may surprise.

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Working from home — the tax implications

Advances in technology, family-friendly policies and flexible working arrangements have made working from home – whether as an employee or self-employed person – an increasingly attractive and practical option for many people. However, there are some expenses associated with earning an income from home.

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Individuals: Last-minute tax planning tactics

This financial year is almost over, but there are still tactics you may be able to employ to make sure you pay the right amount of tax for the 2014-15 year.

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