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Tips & Tools

Current advisories

Here are some recent client newsletters, and annual tax preparation checklists.


The key tax changes which will likely affect most of our clients are summarised in our annual newsletters.

Tax Return Checklists

Our checklists will help to ensure you have all the information and documentation you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that income tax and other related legislation is complex and is constantly changing. The information provided on this page does not constitute tax advice. No warranty is made that it is complete, or that it takes into account all possible circumstances. It is intended as a general guide only, and to provide brief answers and explanations about questions that are often asked, or matters which are often misunderstood.

How can I make an appointment?

KMT Consulting is a "virtual" accounting practice. Just call or email to arrange an appointment time, using the form on the Contact Us page. You can choose either a phone or a Zoom appointment. We will send you an SMS reminder prior to your appointment time (and the zoom codes, if applicable). Alternatively, you can send us your information electronically (please see the FAQ How can I send you my information?).

What information do you need?

Please see the Individual and/or Business checklists on this website. Also please consult the answers to other FAQs which may be relevant to your circumstances.

How can I send you my information?

You can use the Tax Worksheet on this website.
This is primarily for individual (non-business) clients. See the Online Submission page for how to access, complete and then upload your worksheet and other information. When you use this method, we can usually process your tax return faster than if you had to wait for an appointment time.

By email
For cyber-security reasons, we do not list our direct email addresses on this website. If you do not have one of our direct email addresses, please call us or send us a message using the Contact Us page.

Alternatively, you can upload your information using the Online Submission page (even if you choose not to complete the tax worksheets on that page). Please see our checklists for details of the information we need. Since payment summaries and some other income details are now available online from the ATO, it is usually not necessary to send document copies unless you are running a small business, own a rental property or have other specific circumstances. If there is a need for copies of documents, these can be either emailed, uploaded through this website, or physically delivered prior to your appointment.

Send us a link to your accounting software
If you are using "cloud" software (such as XERO, MYOB, Quickbooks, etc), you can send us an email link inviting us to log in and view your information.

For other software, please see our Business Checklist for details of the reports and information required.

Is there a convenient way to record all my business transactions?

Yes. You can download and use the electronic cashbook from this page of the website.

Please note the following:
The cashbook is NOT intended to be a complete accounting system. It does not include an invoicing capability or management of receivables, payables or inventory. Neither does it include a payroll processing module.

It is provided to help you conveniently record and categorise your business receipts and payments, and to assist with calculating your net GST position if required. It is suitable for small entities which do not require a large number of ledger accounts.

Please see the separate page of instructions before first using this cashbook.

I have private health insurance. Why do I still pay the Medicare Levy?

The Medicare Levy is payable by all resident Australian taxpayers (with some exceptions – for example: those with very low taxable incomes and those who are members of the Defence Forces or who are receiving certain pensions from the Department of Veterans Affairs). The levy is calculated as a percentage of taxable income, and is included in the calculation of your tax when you lodge your tax return.

The levy does not have to be paid where individual or family incomes are below the relevant threshold for the year. The threshold increases with the number of dependent children, and different thresholds apply for those who are entitled to the Senior Australians and Pensioners Tax Offset. There is a "phase-in" calculation where the threshold is exceeded by a small amount so that the levy is collected only on the taxable income that exceeds the threshold.

If you have maintained an acceptable level of private health insurance for the whole income year, it is the Medicare Levy Surcharge that you will not have to pay (see the separate section which explains this).

Why do I have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge?

The Medicare Levy Surcharge is an additional amount of Medicare Levy payable by those:

  • whose "adjusted taxable income" exceeds the relevant individual or family threshold, AND
  • who have not maintained an acceptable level of private health insurance (which must include hospital cover) for the whole income year.

"Adjusted taxable income" (ATI) is not always the same as "taxable income". It is often a higher amount, because it includes non-taxable amounts such as reportable fringe benefits and reportable super contributions. Also, investment losses (for example, rental losses) are added back. This means that it is very difficult to avoid the surcharge by using salary-packaging or investment losses to reduce taxable income. The relevant ATI threshold will depend on your circumstances (different thresholds apply to individuals and families). The threshold increases for every dependent child after the first.

If your level of private health insurance is adequate, but was only in place for part of the income year (and assuming you exceed the relevant ATI), you will be liable for the surcharge for the part of the year when you did not have the insurance in place.

Why is there an adjustment to my Private Health Insurance rebate?

This is not really a "rebate", but rather a direct payment by the Government to the health insurer. To encourage people to have private health insurance, the Government pays for a portion of the premiums, thereby reducing the cost for the individual or the family. The portion payable by the Government is means-tested, and will vary depending on your income level and/or your family circumstances. As your income increases, the portion payable by the Government decreases. If you are a high-income earner, there is no "rebate" available. You must pay the total premiums yourself.

When you lodge your income tax return, the ATO assesses whether the Government has paid the correct amount towards your premiums. If not, there will be an adjustment. If the Government has paid too little, this will improve your tax outcome (either an increased refund from, or reduced amount payable to, the ATO). If the Government has paid too much, then of course you will have the opposite outcome.

To avoid negative outcomes when your tax return is lodged, you can contact your health insurer and provide an estimate of your income level. This, of course, may change the proportion of the premiums payable by you. This is optional.

What is the "Reportable Fringe Benefits" amount on my payment summary?

If your employer is providing non-cash benefits (for example: a company car), those benefits are valued and included on your payment summary. You do not pay income tax on this amount. However, it IS taken into account when assessing liability for some surcharges (for example, the Medicare Levy Surcharge) and eligibility for certain rebates (for example, the Private Health Insurance Rebate or the Senior Australians and Pensioners Rebate). It can also affect your entitlement to certain pensions and government allowances.

Many people often comment that the reported amount seems much higher than the actual value of the benefit they received, or that their remaining cash salary has been reduced more than they expected. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. The value of the fringe benefit that is listed on your payment summary is "grossed-up" to a higher amount. Generally, it is increased to the level of pre-tax salary that would be required to be earned so that the net after-tax benefit can be achieved. And there is an assumption (not always true) that you are a high-income earner on the top marginal tax rate (which at the time of writing was 47% including the medicare levy). To illustrate this with a simple example: If you received fringe benefits worth $10,000, then you would need to earn approximately $18,868 before tax so that the $10,000 net benefit is achieved. (ie: $18,868 x 47% = $8,868 in tax). In this example, the "grossed-up" amount of $18,868 would appear on your payment summary.
  2. Most employers have to pay "Fringe Benefits Tax" on the value of the benefit. This is a cost to the employer and is factored into the amount by which your remaining cash salary is reduced.
What are the "Reportable Super Contributions" on my payment summary?

This represents the amount that exceeds the legislated minimum "Superannuation Guarantee" that your employer is required to pay.

It can include:

  • Additional amounts that the employer chooses to pay in excess of the legislated requirement.
  • Amounts that you have chosen to salary-sacrifice as deductible contributions.

You do not pay income tax on these amounts. However, they ARE taken into account when assessing liability for some surcharges (for example, the Medicare Levy Surcharge) and eligibility for certain rebates (for example, the Private Health Insurance Rebate or the Senior Australians and Pensioners Rebate). They can also affect your entitlement to certain pensions and government allowances.

Deductible salary-sacrificed super contributions are NOT claimed separately on your income tax return, since the amount of assessable income reported on your payment summary will already have been reduced by these amounts.

Can I claim motor vehicle expenses?

You can only claim vehicle expenses if it is necessary to use your car to earn your income. For example, if you need to travel between offices or workplaces, to training sessions or meetings which are not at your ordinary place of work, or if you are using your own vehicle to visit customers or suppliers. You can also claim for travel to and from University or TAFE where there is a clear connection between your current income and the course you are studying.

Normally, you CANNOT claim for travel to and from work. This is considered private travel and is not deductible. There are some limited exceptions. For example, a tradesperson whose workplace changes frequently, or who needs to carry heavy tools to and from work. (In this latter case, the ATO needs to be satisfied that it is actually necessary to transport these tools – ie: that there is no safe place to leave them at work).

If your employer provides you with a vehicle (eg: under a novated lease arrangement), you CANNOT claim any expenses in relation to that vehicle. Normally all running expenses are met by the employer, and usually any fringe benefit associated with the use of the vehicle has been valued and deducted from your salary (resulting in an already reduced assessable income shown on your payment summary).

If you normally work from home, but occasionally (or, even regularly) need to drive to your employer’s office, this is also NOT deductible. It is considered private travel.

How do I substantiate my vehicle expense claims?

There are two methods available to claim car expenses:

  1. A rate per kilometre travelled for work-related purposes. No log book is required, but you must be able to show how you arrived at the number of kilometres you are claiming.
  2. A proportion of actual expenses based on a log book.

"Per kilometre" method

For this method, the number of kilometres claimed cannot exceed 5,000. If you have travelled more than 5,000 kms for work purposes, you can either limit your claim to this, or use the log book method described below.

This is a "catch all" method and is intended as an estimate to cover all claimable vehicle expenses. If you use this method, you cannot separately add any actual vehicle expenses to your "per kilometre" claim.

If your work-related travel exceeds 5,000 kilometres by only a small amount, it is often best to use this method, even though it means limiting the claim to this number of kilometres. In these circumstances, the ATO "per kilometre" method often results in a higher claim than the "log book" method described below. (An exception might be where there is very limited personal use of the car, so that the work-related use represents a high proportion of the overall use).

This method does not require detailed record-keeping. However, in the event of an audit the ATO will still need to be satisfied that you actually used your car for work, and that you can explain how you calculated your work-related kilometres. In some cases, the ATO has even contacted employers to confirm that the employee is required to use their car as they have described.

Log book method

To use this method, you must have kept a log book to substantiate the proportion of expenses that you are claiming. Please note that the ATO will not accept a reasonable estimate of the work-related proportion. In the event of a tax audit, your claims WILL BE DENIED OR DRASTICALLY REDUCED unless you can produce a valid log book.

We are often asked what is required for a valid log book. Whilst the requirements are not complicated, some discipline and attention to detail are certainly necessary. The following are the steps you need to take:

  1. Note your odometer reading when you commence your log book.
  2. For at least a 12-week period, note each work-related trip. You need to note the date, the starting and ending odometer readings, the distance travelled, the start and end locations, and the purpose of the trip.
  3. There is NO NEED to note any private trips during this period.
  4. At the end of the 12-week period, note the closing odometer reading.

Once you have the above information, the maths is quite easy: Deduct the starting odometer at step 1 from the ending odometer at step 4. This is the total distance travelled for ALL purposes. Add up all the work-related distances recorded at step 2 and divide that by the total distance travelled. The resulting percentage is the proportion of car expenses you can claim.

There are a few other requirements with this method:

  • The period of 12 weeks should be reasonably representative of how you normally use the car.
  • The period of the log book must be consecutive and unbroken (eg: you cannot use two separate 6-week periods with a break between them).
  • The log book record does not have to be paper-based (eg: you can use a spreadsheet), BUT the records MUST BE CONTEMPORANEOUS. You should make the entries each day. You cannot "reconstruct" a log book weeks or months later.
  • The log book will be valid for up to 5 years as long as the pattern of vehicle use does not change significantly.
  • You do NOT need to start a new log book within the 5-year period unless there is a change in this pattern. This is the case even if you change your vehicle, as long as the replacement vehicle is used in the same manner as was the previous one.

To assist you to comply with the substantiation requirements, we have developed an electronic log book that you can download from this website.

You must also keep evidence of your car expenses. They will need to be substantiated in the event of an ATO review or audit.

Can I claim for meals, accommodation and other travel expenses?

Other travel expense claims may include: parking, tolls, taxis, train or bus fares, airfares, the cost of meals and accommodation, and in some circumstances even the cost of overseas travel. Private travel is not deductible (for example: train or bus fares to or from work).

As with any deductible expense, you must be able to show that your travel expenses were incurred for the purpose of earning your income. For example, if you need to travel between offices or workplaces, to training sessions or meetings which are not at your ordinary place of work, or to visit customers or suppliers. You can also claim for travel to and from University or TAFE where there is a clear connection between your current income and the course you are studying.

A few types of travel claims deserve special consideration here . . .

Meals while travelling

Usually this means travelling interstate or to regional areas and staying overnight. In most other cases, meals are considered a personal expense and are non-deductible. For example, a sales representative who travels all day every day to visit customers and then returns home every night cannot claim his or her meals.

Overtime meals

The Tax Legislation allows for overtime meal claims with little or no substantiation where:

  1. the expense was actually incurred,
  2. an overtime meal allowance was paid by the employer, and
  3. the claim is within the allowed reasonable daily limit.

Many taxpayers believe that if points 2 and 3 above are satisfied, they are automatically allowed to claim the maximum daily amount. However, this is incorrect. The expenses must actually have been incurred.

So, what does this mean in practical terms? Simply this: Even though in these circumstances you are not required to substantiate every dollar that you claim, you MUST be able to show (if required) that your claims are broadly in line with your actual expenses. So, for example, you should keep at least a few meal receipts which reflect your typical overtime meal expenses. (Note that if more than the reasonable daily limit is being claimed, then every dollar must be substantiated).

There must also be a clear connection between the meal and the need to continue working. For example, the ATO disallowed a claim for meals purchased after work on the way home, even though the taxpayer regularly worked many hours of overtime. The reason for disallowing the meal claims was that the expenses were incurred too late to be connected with the income. In other words, since the work day had already finished, the meals were not purchased so that the person could continue working.

Overseas Travel and Accommodation

This is a contentious area, since it is common for people to travel overseas for work, but also enjoy some vacation and sight-seeing time during the same trip. If you are claiming for these types of expenses, you must be able to show that your work was the main reason for the travel. If the proportion of time spent on work activities was only minimal or incidental, then only the direct cost of those activities will be deductible (for example, fees for a training conference, or museum entry fees for a teacher of history or art).

If you want to claim a proportion of airfares, meals or accommodation, then you will need to show that your work was the main reason for the trip. Ideally, you should be able to demonstrate that you would not have taken the trip at all but for the work purpose, and that any sight-seeing or vacation time was minimal and incidental. It is essential that you keep a travel diary which can be used to substantiate the proportion of expenses that you are seeking to claim.

You cannot claim the cost of travelling overseas to take up a new employment position. This is because the expense is incurred too early to be connected with the income.

Can I claim for clothing and laundry expenses?

Conventional clothing is generally not deductible for tax purposes. This is the case even if your employer insists that you must wear a particular colour (eg: black), or that you must wear a particular brand (eg: if you work in a retail clothing store). This also applies to footwear. If the clothing itself is not deductible, then laundry of that clothing is also not deductible.

The exceptions are:

  • Clothing registered by the employer with the ATO and added to their approved list.
  • Clothing or shoes which are protective in some way (eg: heavy duty clothing and safety boots worn by a tradesperson, or perhaps even by an office worker who has to regularly walk through factory workshops or attend worksites, non-slip shoes for a commercial kitchen).
  • Clothing which identifies you clearly with a particular employer (for example, it has a logo) and would never be worn outside of work (ie: it is not conventional clothing).
  • Clothing which identifies you with a particular occupation (for example, a dentist’s coat, chef’s uniform, nurse’s uniform, or surgeon’s scrubs).
Can I claim my self-education expenses?

Yes, but only if there is a clear connection between the type of education and your current work. The education must improve your ability to carry out your current work, or there must be a very high probability that it will lead to promotion and increased income in the same industry or field of work.

Education costs will NOT be deductible if the study is undertaken to move into an entirely different field of work or to change careers. (For example, a dentist who decides to study law – while still working as a dentist – with the intention of eventually becoming a lawyer).

If the cost of your study course has been funded by the government (eg: through the HECS / HELP or a similar loan arrangement), then this portion of the cost is NOT deductible (even though you may eventually pay it back once your earnings reach a certain level).

Home Office expenses. What can I claim?

There are two methods of claiming home office expenses:

Cents per hour

The ATO allows a "per hour" rate that you can use as a "shortcut" to claim for home office expenses. This rate can be used to claim for such expenses as:

  • Energy expenses (electricity & gas)
  • Telephone and internet expenses
  • Stationery and computer consumables

This method is convenient, since it does not require you to calculate or prove the work-related portion of each expense, and you do not need to keep documentation to substantiate the total claim. HOWEVER, you WILL need to keep at least some limited documentation (say, one invoice from each category being claimed).

Also, you cannot simply estimate the number of hours being claimed for the year. The ATO expects you to keep a full record of hours worked from home FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR (and they WILL disallow the claim in the event of an audit or review if this record cannot be provided).

You can use this "per hour" method in addition to some other home office claims based on actual cost (for example, purchase or depreciation of office equipment).

Actual expenses

Alternatively, you can claim based on actual expenses, but this will require you to substantiate your entire claim if it is reviewed by the ATO. If there is some private component of the expense (for example, internet or mobile phone use), then you must be able show how you arrived at the work-related portion.

Many people often overstate the percentage of work-related use. For example:

  • "I need my phone so that I can text my boss and check my work shifts".
  • "I need to use the internet whenever I work from home".

The ATO is well aware of how much most people use their mobile phones for private use, and also how the internet is shared by other members of the same household, often used significantly for movie streaming services. It is also well aware that you are likely to have an internet connection and a mobile phone regardless of what type of work you do.

So, if the ATO reviews your claims, they will want to see a representative 4-week diary of how your internet is actually used. You would also likely be asked to produce phone bills and to identify all the work-related calls and messages. Very onerous, but this is what some taxpayers have been faced with.

What other expenses may I be able to claim?

The following expenses can usually be claimed where they are related to your work . . .

  • Subscriptions to professional associations or work-related websites
  • Training courses and reference material
  • Union fees
  • Licences, registrations, permits
  • Tools and equipment
  • Insurances

The following can be claimed irrespective of the type of work you do . . .

  • Donations to registered charities
  • Tax agent fees
  • Voluntary deductible super contributions (but not if salary-sacrificed through your employer)
  • Income protection insurance.
Can I claim my voluntary super contributions?

Generally yes, provided certain conditions are met. The following information is general only, so please contact us before taking any action in this regard . . .

There is a deductible limit per year for super contributions (but see also the next paragraph). This includes deductible contributions from all sources, so if you are considering making extra deductible contributions to your super fund, make sure that you allow for the amounts already paid by your employer, including deductible salary-sacrificed contributions. Your Fund must receive and allocate the contributions by 30 June. Also, you MUST notify your Fund of your intention to claim AND have received an acknowledgement from the Fund BEFORE making the claim on your tax return. The ATO is disallowing these deductions if the Fund has not acknowledged the notification.

If you contributed less than the maximum allowable contribution in any of the past few years, you may be allowed to contribute additional amounts to "catch-up" this year. Please call us if you need to know what those unused "catch-up" amounts are (current clients only).

I have a Rental Property. What information do you need?

The following income and expense information is required each year:


  • Income received from tenants
  • Other income received (eg: reimbursement of water charges)


  • Agent’s fees and charges
  • Capital Works Allowances
  • Cleaning
  • Council rates
  • Depreciation of furniture and fixtures (if any)
  • Gardening
  • Insurances (property and/or landlord insurance)
  • Interest charged on the investment loan
  • Land tax
  • Lease preparation and other legal expenses
  • Pest control
  • Repairs and maintenance (see also "Other rental property issues")
  • Water charges.

(The above list is not comprehensive, and may not apply to all properties).

The following information is required the first year that we handle your tax affairs:

  • Address of the property, and the date you first earned rental income from it
  • The names of all legal owners and the proportions of ownership
  • The date of purchase and the purchase price, including all incidentals such as stamp duty, conveyancing, legal and registration fees
  • The cost of any initial repairs or improvements not yet claimed for tax purposes
  • Loan approval costs on the mortgage or investment loan (if less than 5 years ago)
  • Stamp duty on the mortgage loan contract (if less than 5 years ago)
  • Copies of depreciation schedules – if any
  • Copies of valuer’s schedules for capital works allowances – if any.
What other Rental Property issues should I be aware of?

The ATO has long been concerned that expenses are being overclaimed by many landlords. Here are the areas that are likely to attract the most attention . . .

Travel expenses

You can no longer claim travel expenses in connection with residential rental properties. Unfortunately, ALL such travel is disallowed even where there was NO private purpose (for example, a trip to make repairs).

Loan interest

The ATO obtains information about property investment loans from banks and other lenders. It then compares that information with the amount of interest claimed on tax returns.

It is especially interested in detecting the following:

  • Dual purpose loans. This is where additional loan drawdowns take place for personal reasons (ie: unrelated to the investment property), but the full amount of interest continues to be claimed as a tax deduction. In these circumstances the interest claim must be reduced by the amount attributable to the personal use of the borrowings.
  • Property sold but loan remains. Where an investment property is sold, there is an expectation that the proceeds will be applied to pay out the relevant loan balance. Where this is not done and the loan remains "on foot", the loan interest will cease to be deductible (except in certain exceptional circumstances).

Holiday homes

Some landlords with a holiday home or apartment are evidently claiming all of the related expenses, but the property is rarely, if ever, genuinely available for rent. The owners and/or their families may use the property at peak holiday times, and only offer it for rent at other times (when there is little or no demand). They may not even advertise the property, or if they do, they may deliberately charge very high rental fees (to discourage applicants), or even refuse to accept genuine applicants. The ATO considers that in these circumstances the property is not genuinely being held for rental income, but rather for personal lifestyle reasons. Rental deductions can be disallowed or drastically reduced.

Rented to related parties

It is common to rent to adult children or other family members at greatly reduced rates. Where this happens, the ATO can limit the expense claims to the level of rental income (thus disallowing any potential tax benefits from claiming net rental losses). To avoid this outcome, it is necessary to charge a market rate of rental regardless of who the tenants are.

Repairs vs Improvements

Differentiating between a repair and an improvement is somewhat of a "grey area" and is not always clear-cut. The distinction is important however, because repairs are immediately deductible in full, whereas improvements must either be depreciated over time, or added to a property’s cost base and then claimed against any eventual capital gain (when sold).

The general rule is that a repair simply returns something to its original functional condition without changing its nature (eg: repainting, replacing damaged doors, bathroom or roof tiles, repairing walls or fences).

On the other hand, an improvement results in something entirely new or significantly different (for example, a new air conditioner, renovating a kitchen or bathroom, or replacing a steel roof with tiles). An improvement will often result in an increase in the property’s value, extend its life or even allow for an increase in rental income. If you have spent significant amounts on repairs or improvements, please make sure you clearly identify each cost so that it can be categorised and claimed correctly.

How much Capital Gains Tax will I have to pay?

Assessable capital gains result from profits on the sale or disposal of capital items such as property, shares, cryptocurrency, business entities, and even certain intangible items such as rights and options. The gross capital profit will generally be the difference between the selling price and your initial purchase price, after deducting any transaction costs.

How much will I have to pay? There is no simple answer to this question, since there is no actual "rate" of Capital Gains Tax (CGT). The CGT legislation is complex. It deals with whether an amount is an assessable capital gain, and if so, how much of that gain is taxable and should be included in your income tax return. The taxable gain to be included in your tax return will depend on a number of factors.

For example:

  • Whether a concession or rollover provision applies.
  • Whether there is a full or partial exemption (for example, the "main residence exemption" on residential property).
  • Whether a discount can be applied.
  • Whether the capital gain can be deferred to a future year.
  • Whether there are brought-forward capital losses that can be used to reduce or eliminate the gain.

Once the net taxable capital gain is included in your tax return, it is taxed along with your other taxable income at your individual marginal tax rate. So, different people with an identical capital gain can have very different tax outcomes. For example, a person with no other income and a modest capital gain may pay no tax at all, whereas a high-income earner may lose almost half of that taxable gain in income tax.

I have bought or sold Cryptocurrency. What records should I keep?

Cryptocurrency trading platforms report transactions to the ATO, which means that the ATO knows if you have sold any cryptocurrencies, even where the monetary amounts are small, and even if you did not make a profit.

Cryptocurrencies are generally treated as investments, which means that disposals and sales are treated either as capital gains or losses.

A capital gain or loss will arise on the disposal of cryptocurrency in any of the following situations:

  • It is sold and converted into Australian dollars (or, another currency, in which case the AUD equivalent must be used).
  • It is exchanged for another cryptocurrency, in which case the "sale proceeds" will be the AUD value of that other cryptocurrency at that time.
  • It is used to purchase something, in which case the "sale proceeds" will be the market value of what was purchased.

The point of all this is that you must keep proper records. At a minimum, for any cryptocurrency sold or disposed of, you must be able to identify:

  • The date when you purchased it.
  • The amount you paid for it (in Australian dollars).
  • The date that you sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of it.
  • The value you received for it in AUD (if not exchanged for money, the market value of whatever it was exchanged for).

With so many people now dabbling in cryptocurrency, excuses such as: "I can’t remember", or "I don’t think it matters because I didn’t make any money on it" will not cut it anymore.

The ATO expects that these records will be kept, and will also expect to see something entered to the required labels on your tax return.

What is "Excess Concessional Contributions" tax?

There is a maximum concessional (ie: deductible) amount per person which can be contributed into superannuation each year. If your total deductible contributions exceed this amount, the ATO amends your personal income tax return by adding the excess contributions back to your taxable income (ie: as though these excess contributions were never made) and then recalculates your tax liability for the year. The result is that you end up paying tax on the excess contributions at your marginal tax rate.

Since your super fund may have already paid tax on those excess contributions, the following concessions apply . . .

  1. To avoid double-taxing the contributions, a tax offset is applied to your amended assessment.
  2. To help you pay the additional tax, you can elect to have your super fund release the after-tax balance of the excess contributions.
  3. Note that point 2 is optional. If you choose instead to pay the additional tax personally, then this leaves the additional contributions in your super fund.
What is "Division 293 tax" on my superannuation contributions?

This tax only affects those on high incomes. Typically, people on high incomes receive a much higher tax benefit from making superannuation contributions. This is due to the difference between their individual marginal tax rate and the concessional tax rates which apply to superannuation funds.

The intention of Division 293 is to reduce the superannuation tax benefit that people on higher incomes receive and bring it closer to that which applies to those on lower incomes. The method of achieving this is to impose an additional tax on some or all of your superannuation contributions, but only on that part of the contributions which exceed the relevant income threshold for the year (which includes any fringe benefits and superannuation contributions, and after adding back any rental losses – if applicable).

If this tax applies to you, then you usually have two options:

  1. Pay the amount yourself (this is the easiest option, and it leaves your superannuation balance intact), or
  2. Instruct your superannuation fund to pay the amount direct to the ATO.
When and how do I repay my HECS / HELP or other training debts?

These debts are generally repaid gradually by instalments when your tax return is processed each year. When your income exceeds a certain level, a compulsory loan repayment amount is added to your tax calculation as an additional amount payable. The repayment amount is calculated as a percentage of your adjusted taxable income, and the percentage increases according to your income level.

If you have a HECS / HELP or other similar training debt, it is important that you advise your pay office of this. This will result in more PAYG tax being withheld from your pay. This additional PAYG tax withheld each pay period increases your PAYG credit with the ATO. When your tax return is processed, this additional PAYG credit is then available to reduce your HECS / HELP or other training debt.

The concept is that if you have had sufficient additional PAYG tax withheld during the year, then the ATO can apply the additional withheld amount to reduce the debt and you will still (hopefully) receive a refund. Otherwise, you must pay the difference.

This loan repayment only happens once a year when the ATO processes your tax return. If you are a current client and you want to make an additional voluntary repayment, please contact us and we can provide you with the payment details you will need.


Work books

Here are some worksheets to help you with record keeping and organising supporting documents.


This electronic cashbook will help you record and categorise your receipts and payments, as well as calculate your net GST position if required.

Vehicle Log Book

This log book will help you comply with the substantiation requirements for your vehicle expense claims.