I need to get around to doing my my tax (dreading it actually). I’ve invited Allan Mason from Broadview Accounting to give me his top ten tax tips for 2011.
Guest post from Allan Mason
Top 10 tax tips for 2011
It is often said that there are two things that are certain in life – death and taxes. Early in my career I worked for the infamous Kerry Packer. His view was not to pay a cent more than you have too, as the government doesn’t spend it too wisely. In those days we spent a lot of money to save tax. So in Kerry’s eyes only one thing was certain and that is death.
My top 10 tax tips for 2011 are:
1. Keep your receipts and be organised. It your think something may be deductible, keep the receipt and check. Better still keep a diary and record your expenses and what your have been doing work wise.
2. Superannuation is one of the most tax effective vehicles. Consider setting up your own self managed fund and rolling over the balances from your other funds. Remember super funds can now borrow money to invest in real estate or shares.
3. If you have a rental property don’t forget that in many cases depreciation on the building can be claimed. This is often missed.
4. Pay deductible expenses as close to June 30 as possible to minimize the cash flow impact.
5. Be smart about how your investments are held. Maximise the use of the tax scales to ensure income is earned by the family member with the lowest income and losses flow to the family member with the highest income. Even better would be to use a family trust so that there is true asset protection and income sharing.
6. If you use your car for work, keep a log book AND keep all your expenses for the year. It will allow you the option of selecting the best method of claiming the cost of running your vehicle – rather than just the easiest method.
7. Keep track of your interest and provide tax file numbers to your bank so that you don’t have tax deducted until you lodge your tax return.
8. Superannuation provides great tax saving benefits. Salary sacrificing or contributing to your low income earning spouse’s fund can give great tax benefits.
9. Prepay a year in advance the interest on your investment property so that you can claim the deduction now. The same can apply to repairs.
10. Get good professional advice. If you pay a lot of tax, seek help. Accountants are professionals and it is there job to be worth more than they charge. Remember they do this every single day, whereas in your case, it is a once a year exercise and every year things change.
Allan Mason is the director of Broadview Accounting and author of three books; How to Choose an Accountant, Survival to Success and Business Bullseye, available at bookstores or online at