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Top tips for tax time


By David Koch

28 May 2024

I love this time of year. The Federal Budget is out, the financial year is coming to an end, and that means it’s time to get yourself ready to do your tax. This can be a daunting task for many, so here’s my tax-time checklist to get you through, and hopefully save you a dollar or two. 

It goes without saying a priority should be to review your superannuation and make sure you’re on top of your contributions and your allowable limit for the financial year. Log in to your Brighter Super Member Online account to track your superannuation and take advantage of the fund’s advice services. Brighter Super offers a range of advice services, to help you plan, protect, and grow your retirement savings including different ways to boost your superannuation contributions.

As for the rest of your tax time checklist, here are some key points: 

1) Get organised

When you sit down to complete your tax return make sure you have all the necessary information at hand. This is especially important if you are using an accountant, so your visits are time and cost-effective.

2) Chase receipts

If you have misplaced receipts for deductible expenses track them down, they can really add up. In some cases, bank and credit card statements showing details of purchases can now be used for claiming tax. 

3) Claim work-related expenses

The cost items necessary for your job can be claimed against tax and are called work-related expenses. Call the Australian Tax Office (ATO), or check their website, for a list of acceptable work-related expenses for your job. 

4) Declare all interest income

Financial institutions provide the ATO with details of all interest paid to customers on all accounts. The ATO then compares those amounts with what you’ve declared in your tax return. So, make sure you list interest from every account you hold. 

5) Don’t forget your dividend tax credits

A lot of big companies listed on the stock market pay dividends to their shareholders. In many instances, fully franked dividends are paid to shareholders* along with a 30 percent tax credit. 

6) Offset capital gains with losses

Profits on selling shares or investment properties purchased after 1985 will be charged capital gains tax. But any losses made on these types of investments may be offset against gains from other investments and could cut your capital gains tax bill.  Find out more at the ATO^

7) Claim all costs associated with doing your tax

All tax agents’ fees are deductible expenses as well as the associated costs. 

8) Pay off debts

It might be silly to invest spare cash and pay tax on the returns when at the same time you are paying interest on loans. If you have a credit card debt or personal loan, you may be paying interest of up to 20 percent, or even more in some cases. Consider whether the potential after-tax return from investing will outweigh the interest cost of your debts or not. 

9) Split your income

Interest on savings accounts and fixed interest are taxed at the marginal rate of the account holder.  If one spouse has a lower marginal tax rate than the other, you could consider putting all the bank accounts and other income producing investments in the name of that spouse.


^Using capital losses to reduce capital gains | Australian Taxation Office (

David Koch is not a qualified tax agent or an authorised representative of LGIAsuper Trustee (ABN 94 085 088 484) (AFSL 230511) trading as Brighter Super. All content reflects the personal views of David Koch and does not represent the views or opinions of Brighter Super. Any mention of Brighter Super products or services is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an endorsement.