Can you believe it’s the beginning of June already? In fact, this year has just roared by like Sebastian Vettel, the winner of the recent Monaco Grand Prix! (That guy is truly a GP driving legend.) But more importantly, this month signals the start of the Tax Season and the impending arrival of the End of the Financial Year. So as the countdown to June 30th rounds the final corner and speeds towards that checked flag, it’s the perfect time to get your finances in red hot shape to avoid any last minute disasters.
For that reason, check out these 8 simple, practical tips to get your finances organised and raring to go so you can complete your financial returns and EOFY compliance in record time. And these strategies are based on sound financial management ideas so if you make them a habit, you’ll be Ready, Set, Go for next year when tax time comes around again!
- Keep Good Records. This is an important one and can save you money, time and stress in a single step. So find yourself a financial filing system that works for you and collate all your relevant information into tax specific sections. This includes receipts, bank statements, relevant spread sheets, group certificates etc. Keep everything together in one place for handy reference.
- Budget for Your Personal Future. Budgets are one of my favourite tools for planning and achieving financial success. To create your budget, start with an honest assessment of your lifestyle, including all annual expenses, income, additional costs and earnings and enter this information into budgeting software or a spreadsheet. Also consider your wants, needs, goals and dreams into the equation. Then design a practical plan to work towards your goals and stick to it!
- Live and Spend Within Your Means. If you always find more month left over at the end of your income or are relying on credit cards to get through, you are living beyond your means. If so, it’s time for some tough questions. What are your actual costs of living? How much do you earn? What is the difference between these 2 figures and does this cover the basics? Which items can you cut back on? Can you afford to keep going into debt? What are the long term consequences if you do? Are you willing to change?
- Follow Up On Entitlements. Your legal entitlements are like gifts of cash just waiting for you to reach out and take them. So it’s important to ensure you know exactly what you are eligible for and then to follow them up. These may include: Centrelink support, Family Benefits, Child Maintenance, taxation, Medicare and Private Health refunds, lost superannuation and accrued leave or holiday entitlements.
- Work to Your Budget. Keep on keeping on with your budget and make it work for you. This will stop you from frittering your hard earned money away and will lead you towards the life you want for yourself and family. This means sticking to the original goals you have set for yourself… remember, they are there for a reason.
- Resist the Temptation to Put off Your Taxes. My advice here is to start early. This means not leaving your tax and returns until the last minute. Because your haste to meet the filing deadline may cause you to overlook potential sources of tax savings and will likely increase your risk of making an error. Go to it.\
- Always Review Your Returns for Errors. We all make mistakes, but it is best not to do them on your tax returns. Therefore review your return for possible math errors, incorrect entries and make sure the names and identification numbers for yourself, your spouse and your dependents are correct and legible.
- File Your Tax Return Electronically It’s so easy and quick too! File your return electronically at www.etax.com.au. Aside from ease of filing, this is the fastest and most accurate way to file a tax return. A CPA will also check your return before lodgement. Plus you can speed up your refund and reduce the chance of theft by having the amount deposited directly to your bank account.
Here’s to your organising success!
Until next time champions,