The ATO has updated its app with an online tool designed to help Australians keep track of their deductions by allowing them to capture expenses on the go.
With almost 10 million Australians claiming more than $24 billion in deductions each year, ATO Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte says myDeductions is going to make life a lot easier come tax time next year.
“Whether you lodge your return yourself or use a tax agent, often the most time-consuming part of the whole process is tracking down all the year’s receipts to claim deductions,” he said.
“If you start using myDeductions, come next tax time you will have the option of uploading your completed deductions data to the ATO. We will then use this information to pre-fill your 2015-16 myTax return. If you lodge using an agent, the same information will be available to them to complete your tax return also. ”
MyDeductions can be used to keep records of:
- Work-related car expenses – manage your car trips using point-to-point or the odometer method, or keep an electronic log book.
- Work-related travel expenses such as public transport, air travel and taxi fares, bridge and road tolls, parking fees, meal, accommodation and incidental expenses incurred while travelling for work.
- Work-related clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses, for example protective clothing, uniforms, occupation-specific clothing, and laundering or dry-cleaning such clothing.
- Work-related self-education expenses such as costs of attending seminars, conferences or education workshops.
- Other work-related expenses such home office expenses (mobile phone, internet).
- Gifts and donations.
- Cost of managing your tax affairs.
Mr Whyte also said that while myDeductions had been designed for individuals, the ATO app still had a lot to offer small business and sole traders.
“The latest version of the ATO app has a range of tools for business, including the new business-performance check tool, which gives small-business owners a quick snapshot of their financial health and lets them compare their performance to others in their industry,” he said.
“The ATO app has something for almost everyone. Even for those individuals who don’t have a lot of deductions, the ATO app is an easy way to check the progress of your return, work out how much tax you can expect to have withheld this financial year, or check on your super.”
The ATO app is free and available in Apple, Android and Windows stores.