If you’re a person who has quite a lot of personal tax deductions but finds it difficult to keep track of them throughout the year we’ve got good news for you.
The ATO has released a new App, available for smartphones and tablets from the App Store, Google Play and Windows Store it has a selection of features that we think will be handy for individuals, especially for the new 2016/17 tax year.
The app becomes a contact tool for you and the ATO. You can access your MyGov account including your inbox; lodge your personal tax return, look up tax rates, ABNs and estimate a payment plan
If you have a myriad of personal tax deductions (e.g. work related, donations, motor vehicles) but struggle to locate receipts at tax time this is a tool for you. You can capture your deductible expenses throughout the year, take a picture of the receipt and classify them (or leave them to classify later). At the end of the year you can either use the information you’ve captured to pre-fill your individual tax return on MyGov / E-tax or send a file to your accountant.
Motor vehicle expenses are probably one of the most common business expenses and often the hardest to keep track of. The My Deductions tool solves this problem, allowing you to add trips (either through GPS, Point to Point or odometer reading) and keep a logbook. With the reduction in claim methods to only ‘Cents per Km’ and ‘Logbook’ keeping a logbook now is the most effective tax method for motor vehicle claims. Additionally, if you are an employee and your employer reimburses you for mileage, you could use the Trip function as a way to keep track of you reimbursement claims.
Whilst not as much functionality as for individuals, there are still some handy features for Businesses.
The Small Business Assist provides an easy way to search the ATO database, if you still can’t find what you’re looking for you can even book the ATO to call you back after hours (saving lots of time on hold).
The Small Business Newsroom gives you updates of tax matters, key dates and events that are relevant to small businesses. You can even set up key dates to help you meet your lodgement and payment obligations by answering a few simple questions.
Handy tools also include a Super Guarantee Eligibility decision tool to help business owners determine super guarantee eligibility for individuals such as contractors. Business performance check to let you easily compare your business’ performance to ATO benchmarks; and finally, a payment plan calculator.
Whilst the App won’t replace your relationship with your advisor, it is a great tool for individuals to maintain their deduction claims. This means that you are more likely to claim all the deductions that you are entitled to and enables you to present the data to your tax agent in an efficient way. With MyGov becoming the default communication portal for all government correspondence, it is useful to have an app that allows you access to these messages and ensure you don’t miss any important communications from government agencies.