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31 March
2017
ATO NEWS AND UPDATES FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS GST AND BAS
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Do I REALLY need to lodge a Tax Return?

I find it surprising as I fly around Australia and locally the number of people who ask me this question.

Do I really need to lodge a tax return?

I stand  there looking at them, biting my lip and stopping myself from blurting out….

You are joking, right?

That is what I’d like to say, instead I ask them the following questions.

  • Are you an Australian citizen or on a working visa?
  • Are you over 18 years of age?
  • Did you get paid cash in hand, or as a sole trader since you turned 18?

You can also pop over to this link here to answer these and some more questions to find out if you need to lodge a tax return.

 

Why do I have to lodge a tax return

I am years behind, do I really need to lodge tax returns for each year?

Simple answer – Yes

 

Where do I begin?

Start with the first year that you have not lodged.

The Tax Office requires you to keep up to 5 years of tax receipts / documentation.

Collect your group certificates and any / all receipts that you may have on record.

Of course, the longer the time frame the more there is a chance that old dockets / receipts may have faded.

  • Collect all your paperwork together
  • Using manila folders mark the year on each file
  • Place all the dockets from that financial year Jul-Jun

 

Where do I start with paperwork

 

Use Online Free Tools

Go to MyGov and set up an account, if you haven’t done so already.

MyGov Link

Once you have a MyGov account, you can then download and sign into the ATO’s free phone app called MyDeductions

My Deductions Link

You can record all your receipts and even vehicle trips

See the How To Videos on this link

My business is growing….

As your business grows, you will discover that the MyGov free online tools will not be good enough for your record keeping.

There are many accounting options like Xero, Myob Essentials and Quickbooks Online.

All of these work seamlessly with add ons that can do all your data entry for you.

** COMMON MISTAKE **

Setting up the accounts yourself

It’s a rookie mistake to think that because you are tech savvy, you can set up our own account.

You would be wise to pay a BAS Agent or Certified Agent to do the set up right, the first time.

They will ensure :

  • Correct business details
  • Financial settings
  • Tax Codes
  • Chart of Accounts
  • Bank Feeds

If you want to do the bookkeeping side yourself, then at least the bank feeds will reconcile to the bank statement when you start out.

What is a Bank Reconciliation?

You check your accounting software’s opening and closing dates / balances.

Grab your e-statement or paper bank statement.

Check that the opening date / bank balance on your accounting system matches your bank statement.

Check that the end date on your software and on your bank statement match.

If they do, you can save or publish that information.

If they don’t, it means that a mistake has been made, you deleted a entry or that your band feed has missed some necessary information.

If you do not know what to do, call your accountant or give us at My Office Books a call.

Why do I have to do it anyway?

How do you know if the accounting software is accurate?

You need to ensure that it matches against your bank statement.

I state all the time to my customers :

Your Xero / MYOB / QBO are tools

Bank Statements are the Bible

Technology is fantastic, as long as it works.

Bank feeds can miss a day due to technical issues or can miss bank interest / fees.

All these situations can change the balance in your accounting software.

 

Help, I need help with my bookkeeping

Want to know more?

Amanda at My Office Books has certified Xero and Quickbooks staff who can fix your mistakes, import and reconcile missing data or set-up and train you to do the work right the first time.

Contact Amanda either via her mobile 0423463721 or book in a free 15 minute consultation on calendly.

 

Amanda Hoffmann is a registered BAS Agent No.18613005, Associate of Finance, Xero Certified, Myob Essentials and Quickbooks partner.

She says she is more than just a bookkeeper with experience in real estate investing, social media, podcasting and blogging.

Amanda loves to teach smart, easy online cloud solutions and can show you how much fun bookkeeping can be. Follow her on social media and say “Hi”




2 thoughts on “Do I REALLY need to lodge a Tax Return?

  1. Phoebe says:

    This website certainly has all of the information I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    1. Hi Phoebe, Happy to be of assistance.

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