FAQ

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FAQ 2017-06-25T09:01:41+00:00

Can I claim my Self Education costs?

There needs to be the necessary nexus (connection) to your current income for these expenses to be claimable. This means that the self education needs to help you in your current job and not be undertaken to open up new job opportunities.

I have had to pay for child care during the year. Is this claimable on my tax return?

Child care expenses are not claimable as a tax deduction. Eligible taxpayers may be able to claim the Child Care Tax Rebate (CCTR) through the Family Assistance Office.

I am self employed and have paid personal superannuation contributions all year. What can I claim?

Provided that you satisfy the eligibility criteria, you will be able to claim a deduction for the contributions you have made to a complying superannuation fund or retirement savings account. To do so you must be fully self employed or no more than 10% of your assessable income (including Reportable Fringe Benefits and Reportable Superannuation Contributions) is from an employer. You must also have first notified your superannuation fund of your intention to make the claim and received a confirmation.

I have started my own business and wonder if I need to register for GST.

Businesses with an annual turnover of $75,000 or more are required to register for GST. If your business has a lower turnover you are not required to register but you may do so if you wish. You will only be required to charge your customers GST if you are registered. Karis Tax office can assist you with your application to register for GST.

I am four years behind in lodging my tax returns. Will I get into trouble?

You should lodge your outstanding tax returns as soon as possible and before the Australian Taxation Office takes any action to have you lodge these tax returns. Once they have begun any action, it could result in a court conviction. The ATO may charge a penalty of $170 for every 28 days that the return is outstanding. The maximum penalty is $850 even if you are due a refund. In addition, the ATO will charge interest. This is called the general interest charge and is levied on any outstanding monies. The rate for the July to September, 2013 quarter is 9.82%. Karis Tax office can assist you to lodge your outstanding prior year returns.

What is the maximum/minimum salary for employer superannuation to be payable?

Min. – $450 gross per month

Max. – $120,000 gross per year, approx.

There are also minimum and maximum age limits, please contact us for further information.

Do all employees have freedom of choice of where their superannnuation can be paid?

No, please contact our office for advice.

What do I need to set up a Sole Trader business?

We can set that up for you. This includes ABN, GST (if required), public liability or professional indemnity and insurances as required.

What is the out of pocket medical expenses threshold?

$2,162 for the 2015 financial year. This offset is being phased out and is only available to taxpayers who received the offset in the prior financial year.

Do I need to bring my wife with me to complete my tax return?

It isn’t necessary but it is helpful as they can assist with family details. There are a number of questions concerning dependants, dates of birth and medical details.

I am approaching my 55th birthday and have heard that I may not have to pay as much tax?

If you are still working, you may be eligible for a Mature Age Workers Offset for the tax year in which you turn 55 and any future years that you are working. The maximum available offset is $500. You will be entitled to the maximum if your net income from working is between $10,000 and $53,000 but may still get a reduced amount if your income from working does not exceed $63,000. If your only income is from investments then you will not be entitled to this offset.

The available offsets will be reduced for those in these upper income ranges using a three tier system.

Can I claim anything for the cost of my children’s education?

Families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A receive a payment of up to $422 for each child in primary school, and up to $842 for each child in secondary school. The Schoolkids Bonus is automatically paid to eligible families (ie those receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A) in two separate instalments each year— half in January and half in July. The Schoolkids Bonus is paid automatically and upfront meaning eligible taxpayers don’t need to keep receipts for education expenses or make a separate claim.

However, legislation has passed to end the Schoolkids Bonus payments. The Schoolkids Bonus will continue until the end of 2016. The last instalment will be paid in July 2016.

An income test will also apply to the School kids Bonus starting on 1 January 2015.

I have married during the year. What effect does this have on my tax return?

If you married during the year you may be eligible to claim a tax offset for your spouse which will depend on your spouse’s income. A Medicare reduction may also be available. You will need to know the taxable income of your spouse before and after marriage. If your spouse has earned income during the year, she will also need to lodge her own return. On both returns you will be required to disclose information about the other partner so that any entitlement you may have to certain benefits can be calculated correctly.

Can I claim for the maintenance I pay my ex wife for my children?

23Maintenance payments are not tax deductible.

How can the new, simplified tax rules can help my small business?

If you’re a small business owner, it’s going to be easier for you to understand how tax rules apply to your assets after 1 July this year.

1. The entrepreneurs’ tax offset, which allowed low-income small business owners to offset up to 25% of tax payable on their business income, will be abolished.

2. Under amendments to capital allowance arrangements for small business, the ‘small business instant asset write-off’ threshold for low-cost assets will increase to $6,500. This means you will be able to claim an immediate deduction for the cost of an asset you buy for your business if you pay less than $6,500 for it.

3. You can consolidate your general small business asset pool (for assets with an effective life of less than 25 years) with your long life small business asset pool (for assets with an effective life of more than 25 years). As a consequence you can choose to move all assets costing more than $6,500 into a new general small business pool, and claim a deduction for their depreciation at the same annual rate of 15% in the first year and 30% thereafter.

4. Lastly, new accelerated initial deductions for the purchase of motor vehicles will allow you to claim up to $5,000 as an immediate deduction. The remainder of the motor vehicle value can then be pooled in the general small business pool.

What is the difference between resident and non-resident tax rates?

Non-residents pay tax on most Australian source income. They pay tax on every dollar of taxable income as declared on their tax return but do not pay Medicare. Residents have to declare all income earned in and out of Australia. A tax free threshold of $18,200 (for the 2015 year) is available to them and a resident may be entitled to claim some tax offsets (rebates) that are not available to non-residents. Depending on their income, a resident may also have to pay the Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge.

How can I get a payment slip if I have lost my BAS or IAS form?

You can contact our office on and we will send you a payment advice by email, fax or mail, which ever suits you.

We are available from Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm. We can be contacted at 03 8555 3363.

What is the minimum income stream allowed to be drawn from a self funded superannuation fund?

4% of the July 1 account balance is the minimum income stream allowed to be drawn from a self funded superannuation fund.

How long do I need to keep my tax records?

Documentary evidence should be kept for 5 years from the date of lodgement of the tax return. In which the claims are made. If you are depreciating an asset the receipt should kept until the item is fully depreciated (even if over 5 years).

When do I need to pay the superannuation for my staff?

For quarterly payments: to get a tax deduction and no penalty the due date is the 28th day following the previous quarter end.